Ways to Work With Open-Concept in Business


Not too long ago I was invited to be interviewed by Buzzfeed for how the colors you paint your home can make a difference to your life when you make the right choices. When I entered the expansive headquarters of this social media giant, I was struck by the wide open spaces and the vibe of people sitting desk to desk in rows of mostly laptops and a few desktop computers. They had taken down the walls, so to speak, and embraced an open concept in the workplace. Though I was impressed with this accomplishment, and I realized that this is the way they create newsworthy pieces, I wondered what was sacrificed personally in working with their brand in this way and how they can help their employees keep the stress level low.

Buzzfeed is no different than many successful content-feed businesses out there today. Business is run quite differently than it was even 10 years ago. More and more businesses no longer have offices or even a private cubical to call your own. What they do have in most establishments is a conference room to retire to or greet a visiting guest of the business. Privacy for thought and reflection is taken away because everyone is inches away from neighboring co-workers and work is primarily done in huge open spaces without a thought to call one's own. The reason for that is simple: the Internet and social media have derailed the process of privacy because we are "on call" via computer, smartphone or tablet on a 24/7 basis. The demand for content to fill the streams of social media has become the primary way business is conducted. The pace and the demands can make people short-tempered as their eyes focus on life through a screen, rather than their eyes setting on the reality around them. Those that manage to do both are in a fabulous position regarding this new revolution in communication as they have managed to work healthier and smarter. Everyone can do this and here are a few ways to accomplish that.

  1. Avoid Burnout: It's certainly no secret that sitting at a computer all day without a break will undermine the achievements of even the most dedicated person. That means that when you leave your work area you might want to consider avoiding your smartphone and tablet, too. This is an extension of what you just took a "break" from and burnout can be the result because you are not really taking a break.
  2. Meditation: I always say this is key to stability. If you meditate you tend to respond to life with reason rather than react to it via emotion. Emotion will never afford you a win as it plays upon the most disgruntled part of you and shows one side of how you can handle stress, and that side is usually filled with complaint.
  3. Go outside and take a walk: There is more to life than the walls of a room. Take yourself out into the scene and embrace what is literally around you. Make it your business to not walk and text or use your phone during this time. Focus, instead, on breathing in new energy from your surroundings.
  4. Remove social media apps from your phone: Yes, this one makes people cringe but it is helpful to managing a stress free environment for you.
I don't work in an open environment, but as someone who is self-employed I adopted the above techniques and find my stress level goes way down, while my creativity and productivity level manages to go up. There is something really right about that and sharing that with you may make it right for you too.