Desk-island: fun or stressful?

Do you like to work in your own office or do you actually prefer to be together with coworkers at a desk–island? Most companies create open spaces, known as open plan offices. That means that employees no longer have separate offices. They work at desk-islands together with coworkers.

Privacy or team spirit?

Working at a desk-island is said to be stressful because employees do not have enough privacy. Your coworkers are literally watching everything you do, maybe even commenting on it. Too much background noise and distraction is also bad for performance. Coworkers who talk loudly on the telephone can seriously disrupt the concentration of others. At the same time, however, an open plan office creates more openness among the employees. That is good for the team spirit.

What is your favourite workstation?

For companies, an open plan office is attractive in economic terms. Employees sometimes work part-time or telework. Providing an individual office for each one of them can be expensive. The tasks that they carry out are also an important factor. For a job that requires highly precise and accurate work, for example, verifying figures, a private office without noise from coworkers is probably best. But the most important parameter remains the individual employee:

  • Are you someone who likes to work alone with a lot of responsibility in your job and your own authority? Then you probably will not be very happy in an open plan office and a private office would suit you the best.
  • Are you someone who likes to work together with other employees to reach a common goal but still prefer to define your own area of authority? Then you are best suited to a small office that you share with coworkers with whom you collaborate a lot and who help you to achieve your goal.
  • Do you function very well in a team? You like nothing more than to work together with your coworkers? Then you would probably be very happy at a desk-island. This allows the greatest interaction with coworkers. At an open workstation, there is a lot of transparency about each other’s method of working. This opens up working systems, processes and distribution of tasks to discussion and improvement, and this is certainly of benefit to the final results.

What matters the most in any case is that you are happy in your job. You spend a lot of time at the office. You might as well enjoy it. It’s important to have a sense of ‘a place of one’s own’. Some people decorate their office with a plant or framed family photos. In an individual office, this is never a problem but it also has to be possible in an open plan office.