Productivity in an Open Workspace

Team 834 works in an environment that is similar to walking into Central Perk on Friends. We love our couches, coffee and great employees. Our office has very few walls and thrives on a collaborative workspace and we love it. Our questions get answered with a quick shout across the office or a simple look up from the computer. We understand that this workspace may not be ideal for every type of office environment but it works for us if we abide by the following 7 things:
Plug In
Always have your headphones on hand to tune into your favorite podcast or Pandora station. With an open concept work space, sound tends to travel and with clients, interns, and dogs coming in and out on a daily basis it can be hard to get away from the noise and distraction. Stick one ear bud in and keep one out to make sure you don’t miss anything important but use your favorite tunes to get down to business.
Bubble Up
Similar to our last suggestion, it can get noisy in an open office (especially with the recent construction) so don’t be afraid to “bubble up.” Take a break from sitting at your desk and relocate to another area of the office or travel down the street to a local coffee shop. Don’t be afraid to isolate yourself from the rest of the office to hit your deadline or just get some quiet time away from the buzz saw that seems to always be in use at 560 Fifth Street.
Talk to Each Other
One of the best things about working in an open environment is the ability to quickly spin around in your chair and talk to your neighbor. Have a question? Turn around and ask it. Need a project update? Walk (or shout) across the office to get it. That’s what open workspaces are for, collaboration. Our team does a really great job at working with each other brainstorming for clients and serving as each other’s support system when we get stuck.
Brain Break
Step away from your work for a few minutes. Catch up with your colleagues on your weekend activities, take a peak at those online sales (Zulilly, Joss & Main), discuss your latest Stitch Fix or throw on a Friends’ episode. We don’t really care what you do as long as you take a few minutes to let your brain rest to avoid burnout.
Get up and move around. Sitting at a desk all day can be exhausting so stretch your legs and walk around. Grab the office dog and head outside for a quick walk around the block. A change of scenery could be the ticket to getting you back on track to finish the day strong. Move yourself to the conference room to spread out and organize your thoughts or get comfy on the couch with your laptop.
Learn from Each Other
Working so closely (in proximity) to your colleagues is a great way to learn about what they’re doing, what projects their working on and what methods work best for them. It’s simple. Just ask. Take a peak at your neighbor’s computer to see how they’re designing that super cool note card for a client or ask your PM what she’s got on her plate for the week. If you get stuck on a project seek their advice on how to tackle it. Asking for a colleague’s advice should be easy in any work setting but take down the cubicle walls and it gets a lot less intimidating.
Make Friends
Team 834 has a special kind of relationship. We’re more like family. We talk to each other in and out of the office and enjoy each other’s company on a daily basis. Which is very important for an open workspace when you can’t hide in your cubicle. Talk to your colleagues and learn about their life outside of work because lets face it, you spend way too much time together to not be friendly.
If all else fails, crack open a bottle of wine or head to Sundance for one of their delicious margaritas. We don’t always suggest alcohol to solve the world’s problems, but sometimes life just warrants a break.

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