open office design

More Creative Ways to Produce Privacy In An Open Office Space Environment

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As much as the open office space is a preferred design with most of today’s companies, certain office activities still require a bit of privacy… or the opportunity to get loud without causing too much distraction for fellow employees. As a result, both furniture and office space design companies have come up with a variety of creative solutions to create “privacy” without compromising the open-concept design. We’ve covered a few of them in previous blogs — office pods, partial living walls, Everblock®and Tetris® furniture and walls, use and placement of storage cabinets…but here are a couple more options an organization can take into consideration:


  1. The Rotating Office Screens – A similar concept to vertical blinds, the rotating office screen is actually a series of double-panel slats, each of which rotates on its own pointed base plate. Each slat and base unit can easily be oriented into specific formations in relation to the other slat-base units to create an interesting decor within the open office space design while in “open” position. Once a private meeting is required, the same slats can be turned to the “closed” position, instantly creating a semi or fully private meeting area.

  1. Acoustic Office Screens – Not entirely new to the office space design world, acoustic office screen panels are now available in a variety of sizes, colours and shapes to offer flexibility and interesting decor to an ever-changing open office space environment. Each panel is designed to either stand on casters or on its own unique base, so they can be easily positioned to either add a design to a main wannabe-tree-screenwall or create a semi-private space for individual or collaborative activities. In some cases, the panel shapes are irregular but can interlink to make a visually stimulating wall design or collaboration area. In other cases, the walls are stackable or can easily “nest” into one another, allowing for easy storage. What is even more advantageous is the acoustic office screens are made with soft materials designed to absorb sound, so they help lessen sound disturbances in an open office space environment.

The best part about these solutions is that they not only provide a “privacy” option to the open-concept office space design, but they also enhance flexibility within an open office space design.


DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.



Urban Office, “Viswall Rotating Screen”,

Urban Office, “Wannabetree Screen”,

Urban Office, “Alp Screen”,

Permit Grade Design: The Real Deal

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One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when choosing an office space designer is basing their decision on a conceptual drawing or a block floorplan of an office space simply because they assume that the block floorplan is the exact way their completed office will be when the job is done. Not the case. While a block floorplan has its merits, the real decision-making factor is in the Permit Grade Design.

Similar to a block floorplan, a Permit Grade Design is a ceiling-view drawing of an office space with its different subsections blocked in—workstation area, closed in office areas, exits, washrooms, elevators, stairs, furniture, etc. However, the Permit Grade Design is drawn to scale based on the exact measurements and layout of your office space and furniture. With a Permit Grade Design, businesses and decision-makers will have a clearer view of what the final layout of their office space could look like. Presented with various Permit Grade Designs, businesses can make a more educated decision on which office space designer to hire and get the job done based on the best floorplan presented to them.

Permit Grade Designs are easy to obtain—just request one from the office space designer(s) you are considering to hire. In the short term, it may cost you a little money upfront to account for the extra time the designer takes to measure every aspect of your office space and furniture, but it would prove beneficial in the longer run because (a) you will gain a greater confidence in the office space designer you choose to hire, and (b) you will minimize the possibility of some common and sometimes costly problems such as furniture not fitting properly into their assigned office areas .

So, when it comes to hiring an office space designer based on a floorplan, remember that the Permit Grade Design is the real deal-maker!





Should you replace the cubicles with an open office design?

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cubicles vs open concept interior office designDoes the office layout have any impact on the productivity in the workplace? Decidedly so. At a time where social collaboration and information sharing are the buzzwords in corporations, especially here in Toronto, the open space interior office design is being hailed as some kind of a 21st century corporate savior. But it’s not that easy. Cubicles for a design space have not entirely lost their point, and some open workspace companies have in fact deemed it better to revert to the former.

An open workspace, often praised as innovative and flexible, allows for easy interaction and facilitates creativity. The premise is, without the stifling cubicles, the hierarchical walls give way to free rein, enabling staff to work in teams and collaborate with each other. Ultimately, employees produce work not only at a faster rate but also at a better quality.

Needless to say, the open office space has worked wonders for SAP’s cloud computing teams. With everyone sitting at an open environment, employees can share ideas freely and without inhibition.

While the concept may have worked for one of SAP’s teams, where the employee count is relatively small and the job requires continually squeezing one’s creative juices, there’s evidence that it might not work at every organization. TIME published an article in 2012 about the demons that hound an open office.  This includes unbearable office noise, lack of privacy, and increased employee stress. There’s a study to back this up, and it’s been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

This is why you might not want to totally rule out cubicles. Workspace innovators sometimes call them demoralizing, but it does provide a number of advantages that the open workspace does not. For one, it offers that valuable personal space. There will also be more space to stack documents and diagrams for easy reference. And you won’t deny, it’s much easier to focus when no one’s staring at you from across the table.

Ultimately, your choice of interior office design should depend on the nature of your company or product, the number of employees, and, well, what your employees think about it.

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