OPEN AND LOUD
Open workspaces have rapidly become all the rage in corporate environments, with the idea that such spaces increase collaboration and creativity. Just as rapid has been the accumulation of data, such as those discussed in this New York Times article, showing open workspaces decrease productivity, largely because of the distraction of overheard conversations. Barbara T. Armstrong, a designer specializing in strategically integrating work space design and culture, stresses in this Forbes Magazine article that choice is the most important element in modern workplace design. Employers have responded by creating quiet, private rooms and areas to which employees can retreat when they need to concentrate, or have a private conversation. We could have saved them some time and trouble by letting them know about all their options for workspace curtains.
CHEAP AND COSTLY
Many employers choose open workplace designs because they save money, but we imagine this is a choice they regret when productivity decreases. We’ve talked about creating virtual walls with ceiling-mounted curtain tracks. A well-placed track can allow the creation of a virtual wall that blocks off cubicles or other work spaces when quiet time is needed, but can be folded to open up the space when collaboration is needed; allowing the employees the ability to choose the workspace they need for that day (or hour). We can certainly understand an employer’s desire to save money, and the cost of tracks and drapery hardware is cheap compared to the cost of putting up walls, or designing individual offices.
MAKE TRACKS AT WORK
We offer many options for room-divider curtain tracks. Choice of track will depend largely on the needs of the space. If the ceilings are high and the curtain panels will be long and heavy, our 6200 Heavy Duty I-Beam Track may be necessary, but if the track needs to be installed in a drop-ceiling, something like the 6100 Flexible Curtain Track may be a better choice. The flexible track can also be easily bent by hand to enclose cubicles. Lastly, if one needs to block sound and create privacy, no curtain is going to be better than Eclipse-fabric curtains, which help block both sound and light, and come in a variety of colors than can warm-up a sparse workspace.
Have you used curtains to create privacy in your workspace? Tell us how it has affected your work environment at firstname.lastname@example.org.