Keeping Information Secure in your Workplace: How office partitions can help
Do you take Data Privacy Seriously? Does your workplace environment enable data to be viewed and used securely?
In this post we provide some top tips on how to create a GDPR data friendly work environment with solutions for all budgets.
In a world where GDPR has become the increasingly annoying buzzword in the workplace, dictating what can and cannot be done in terms of data privacy, we are all rightly being forced to be more vigilant in how we keep our information secure.
Data breaches are becoming increasingly common headlines in the news and, no matter how secure your online technology, it is even more important to not only think about your company’s data protection but also your employee’s personal and physical privacy.
How can office partitioning help with privacy?
You don’t have to do a major reconstruction or re-design to tackle some of these privacy issues. There’s many ways to divide space in your office that can provide a flexible, aesthetically pleasing and low-cost methods of creating private individual offices, meeting spaces and breakout areas.
Using acoustically sound materials to construct office partitions is an important consideration when it comes to creating extra usable office space and protecting your data.
Other features such as enclosed rooms with state-changing glass or privacy film will also provide good levels of visual privacy whilst at the same time allowing natural light flow.
As well as avoiding distractions, increasing productivity and being cost effective, office partitioning is a perfect solution to conquering privacy issues.
Top 11 Office Partitioning Solutions for Workplace Privacy
We have put together some options for you to consider helping you keep all your information protected and create a workplace that’s not only safe and secure but also comfortable, inspiring and productive at the same time!
1. Acoustic Glass partitions
This is particularly good for privacy; acoustic glass features an interlayer between two panes designed to enhance the soundproofing qualities of the glass panel. Particularly good, when creating office, meeting room and breakout spaces to both keep the noise out and keep the noise in – in other words prevent noise intrusion and prevent privacy loss at the same time!
2. Privacy Film Glass
Also referred to as Switchable or Smart Film Glass, this LCD film is applied directly to glass panels. An electrical current is passed through the LCD interlayer that changes the state of the glass visibility by either a remote control or a standard lighting switch.
3. Privacy Glass Manifestations / Film
A huge benefit of privacy film or manifestation, is that it can be applied to existing windows or office partitions, so there’s no need to completely reinstall special glass into your office and you can have complete privacy as and when needed keeping things under wraps in an instant!
4. Sound-absorbing Screens and Panels
Hard surfaces such as walls, plasterboard ceilings, laminate flooring and furniture all reflect travelling sounds.
Great for creating non-permanent, unique and practical private spaces, acoustic screens and panels are both practical and decorative and act as a dividing acoustic curtain.
These can be suspended from ceilings or fixed to walls and will help reduce reverberation and echo by absorbing travelling sounds.
Acoustic office screens and panels all have thick acoustic foam trapped between the panels to absorb noise and are covered with sound absorbent materials, and come in a range of interesting shapes so perfect to fit into any style of office.
5. Office Pods
Office pods are ideal when you need a sound controlled meeting space, office or breakout space. Acoustic Meeting Pods can be set up anywhere within your open plan office, to create a quiet or private area.
There’s a huge range of flexible designs from breakout pods to larger glass meeting pods that will fit your office space and they are ideal if you’re looking for a low-cost solution to create a secure meeting space or breakout area for team members to work in privacy.
6. Office booths
Meeting booths can be located almost anywhere within your workplace and can make good use of dead space.
Increased numbers of staff squeezed into smaller offices create an issue with noise and privacy, so office booths provide a space where you can still make private calls or hold meetings without leaving the office.
Office booths come in all shapes and sizes from modular screen systems upholstered in acoustic fabrics to office dens and phone booths, that offer a quiet working space to make confidential calls and, if you’re working with a tight budget, office booths and pods are quick to install.
7. Freestanding partitions
Freestanding partition screens are used to section off existing office areas providing a visual or noise blocking partition. They are usually supported by special feet or linked together.
Freestanding dividers also come with a range of add-ons such as writing boards, glazed windows, pinnable surfaces and acoustic materials and easy to assemble and install.
8. Mobile screens
Movable mobile screens allow for the size and capacity of a space to be altered without permanently changing the layout of your entire office.
Framed glass panels, fitted with acoustic glass are also an option. These are normally ceiling-hung, and depending on the dimensions, may run in a floor track.
Generally constructed from a timber core, freestanding partitions and mobile screens can be finished to suit your interior design and incorporate your own unique branding.
9. Demountable Partitioning
These non-loadbearing walls can be removed and re-installed should you move offices or simply want to reconfigure the layout of your existing space.
A further advantage of this type of partition system is that they are modular and can be constructed on-site very quickly, with minimal mess and disruption for people using the space.
Demountable partitions come in a range of materials and styles, including aluminium, timber and can incorporate acoustic glass with integral blinds.
10. Acoustic Office Seating
All types of acoustic office furniture can create divides with sound absorbing surfaces to provide quieter work and meeting spaces.
Acoustically upholstered high backed soft seating reduces the need for building partition walls. Privacy sofas are great for small group training and help to increase both visual and sound privacy.
Acoustic seating uses a special flame-retardant sound absorbing foam, which is then upholstered with a fire treated fabric, which allows travelling sound to enter the weave and be absorbed by the foam.
Leather and vinyl upholstery can be used on the seat pads for breakout areas; great for dealing with spills, but could reduce the acoustic properties.
The great advantage of using acoustic office furniture is that it can be placed almost anywhere for private meetings or phone calls or linked together to create larger team collaboration areas, ideal for teamwork and training.
Really? Yes, really. . . well-placed plants have proven effective in reducing noise in an open plan office.
The larger the plant, the bigger the impact! Not only do they bring some much needed colour to your office space, they help to break up noise and have an overall impact on air quality.
Green walls (also known as living walls and vertical gardens) have become a rising trend in office design in recent years and come in a variety of designs that can be wall mounted, free standing or double-sided.
Consider your main reasons for choosing partitioning
First thing to do when trying to decide which type of office partitioning is most suitable, is to think about exactly what it is you are trying to achieve with your current workspace.
As well as creating some private meeting spaces to discuss any sensitive or confidential issues, you may just need to create a new reception area or a breakout area for your staff to relax, eat their lunch or hold informal meetings.
Talk to a space planning & office design expert
Deciding which privacy and partition solutions are right for your office will depend on your organization, so it is worth talking to a space planning expert first.
They can help you identify potential solutions, look at different office layouts and configurations, and identify the right products for you and your requirements.
What’s more, they can provide 2D and 3D plans and visuals to ensure you have found the best solution for you before a penny is spent.
NOTE: Source One’s space planning and office design service is free and will help you find the perfect solution for your business.
Looking for more inspiration?
If you are looking for some more office interior inspiration then take a closer look at some of our recently completed projects in the Source One showcase»
Experts in office interiors
Source One Consulting are East Anglia’s leading office interior specialists, working with businesses of all sizes across the UK.
Our team includes experts in all aspects of noise management, from acoustic screens and partitions to free space planning and design.
Call us on 08456 031 585 to find out more.