4 consequences of lack of privacy in an office
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4 consequences of lack of privacy in an office

4 consequences of lack of privacy in an office

The office for a worker is like the pool for a professional swimmer: the place has to be ideal, comfortable, and private so that the practice is developed in the best way, but what happens if it is not totally private? Will the results be the same? 

To answer these questions we present the 4 most common consequences of the lack of privacy in an office.

  1. More noise, less concentration

Acoustic pollution is one of the most common causes by which productivity and performance of workers is affected. When a worker is exposed to a work environment with a large amount of noise and visual and acoustic distractions, their concentration often becomes difficult.

For this reason, it is important to establish the sources of noise that may be affecting the concentration of your employees and find a solution. 

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the National Institute for Safety and Hygiene at Work in Spain, the level of sound pressure that exists in a place depends on the noise sources and the acoustic and geometric characteristics of the premises. This means that both external and internal noise sources influence the acoustics of the work area.

External sources such as the loud sounds of cars, horns, airplanes, nearby construction works or activities outside the workplace, are presented as possible threats to the concentration of people.

 Another type of noise pollution that influences the lack of work concentration, is the noise produced within the same workplace. Elements such as air conditioning ducts, computer sounds, telephone rings, printers, continuous movements of colleagues and telephone or interpersonal conversations with high volume.

Learn more about the 4 consequences of noise pollution in the workplace.

Learn more

  1. Unmotivated and annoyed workers

The discomforts and distractions caused by the lack of privacy and excessive noise lead many workers to experience feelings of discomfort, anger and dislike of the work environment and sometimes this situation is aggravated by the desertion of tasks and obligations.

A study by Professors Junsoo Kim and Richard de Dear of the University of Sydney, Australia and the Center for the Built Environment of the University of California. Through a survey of nearly 42,000 workers in offices in Australia, the United States, Finland and Canada, he determined that the lack of privacy in the office and in conversations is the main cause of employee annoyance.

Approximately 60% of respondents said that excessive noise and poor privacy are the main sources of dissatisfaction in the offices. 


Graph obtained from http://cambridgesound.com

      3.  Private information leaking 

When it is an area used for meetings and conferences, the space has to comply with certain architectural characteristics, since sometimes the information shared is private.

With a deficient meeting room, there is a risk of leaking this information and using it in a way that does not suit the interests of the company, this is because the area does not have adequate acoustic panels or special walls that help isolate, block and cover the sound.

In the case of workspaces, the lack of privacy is a threat when a call is being made or a business is being closed, not having a specific and private area represents the risk of losing the client or disclosing data to other people.

  1. Excess of collective noise

Without a doubt, collaborative spaces are very important in an organization. However, keeping collective groups in too small spaces can be counterproductive and reach the point of reducing the concentration and production capacity, not of an employee but of the entire area.

In companies such as Microsoft, they have implemented an alternative mechanism to improve the concentration of their employees. Elements such as the so-called "neighborhoods" where workers have the freedom to work their own way, since they are far from areas where traffic is high, and visual and sound distractions are less.

Highly prestigious events such as NeoCon, held in Chicago, United States, annually present the design trends that will have an impact on companies and work spaces.

Undoubtedly, the evolution of work areas is increasingly common and is committed to an open style but with the ability to give staff the privacy necessary to carry out their work and in turn, have a harmony with the other members of the team.

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