Most people would agree that privacy is a fundamental human right. However, in the modern workplace, it can be hard to find any privacy at all. From open-plan offices to cubicles that offer little more than a modicum of separation from your coworkers, it seems like our every move is under constant surveillance.
While this may be great for employers who are looking to keep track of their workers’ productivity, it can be quite stifling for employees who crave a bit of privacy now and then. Fortunately, there are ways to boost privacy in the workplace, and here are six secrets to help you get started.
Install Acoustic Panels
If you feel like your privacy rights are being infringed upon at work, a great way to boost privacy in the workplace is by installing acoustic panels. This acoustic portable privacy screen range reduces noise and echo and can be installed on any wall or ceiling. They can even be bought in a variety of colors and patterns, which means that they won’t look out of place and will blend seamlessly into your office decor. They also come in a variety of colors, so you won’t have to worry about them clashing with your office décor either.
Go with Semi-Transparent Doors
For many of us, an office door is like a sacred item. When you close it, you feel like the outside world simply ceases to exist and all that matters in your mind is whatever task you are working on at the time. Unfortunately, most office doors are far from sacred.
They are usually see-through with glass panels that allow your coworkers to keep track of you at all times. If you’re an employer, you could purchase semi-transparent doors, which offer some privacy without damaging your chances of being seen if people need to pop their heads into your workspace for whatever reason. If you’re not, speak with your bosses about getting it installed.
Wear Headphones at All Times
Headphones are a great way to boost privacy in the workplace because they mean that you can listen to whatever you want whilst your coworkers cannot hear it. The headphones are especially useful if you like listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and it’s even better when combined with an acoustic panel system. Not only does this help block out background noise and give you a great excuse for ignoring phone calls if they come through while you’re working, but it makes it clear to your coworkers that you need some privacy and won’t appreciate them coming over to chat.
This means that not only will people not be able to see what you are doing, but they also won’t even be able to hear it either. Of course, this strategy isn’t foolproof, so you will need to be careful not to wear them all the time if someone really needs your help.
Even with your headphones on, you might sometimes feel like there’s simply no way to block out the noise of your coworkers. When people are constantly eavesdropping on your conversations or spying on you while you’re trying to get some work done, it can be hard to concentrate. In this case, a great way to boost privacy in the workplace is by ambient sound.
The idea here is simple: because it blocks out other sounds, the ambient music will give you the privacy that you need to complete tasks, while also acting as a noise filter for your surroundings. This type of music isn’t intrusive, but it will help drown out other sounds that might distract you during your work. It can also make it feel like you’re in your own special zone, which is important if your desk is surrounded by other people. This is one of the most effective tricks out there, so it’s definitely worth trying if your coworkers are driving you crazy.
Personalize Your Space
The more personal your space, the harder it is for others to intrude on your privacy. This is why so many people have wall art, décor items, and posters that serve zero purposes other than being something unique to them. The best way to do it is by adding items that are personal to you or your family and making it clear that they are off-limits.
Even if someone has to use the restroom, leave a chair as your boundary marker so that they know to respect your privacy as much as possible. Of course, there’s always the chance that you’ll be interrupted even with this strategy in place, but at least it’s a step up from having no privacy at all, and you can move the boundary marker further and further back until nobody is trying to peek over your shoulder.
The workplace is a place where people are more vulnerable to privacy violations. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and there are many ways that you can boost your employee’s privacy in the office environment, which have been discussed above.