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A Simple Ratio Could Fix Open Offices for Good

Tags Insight, Interview

Modern office interior featuring an open floor plan with individual workstations, glass-walled meeting rooms, exposed ceiling beams, and vibrant blue privacy booths. Natural light and pedestrian movement evoke a dynamic work environment.
Lewis Silkin, London, UK

Ark Research Lab’s latest report shows people who work in open offices are sick of all the noise from virtual calls. The desk-to-door ratio offers a blueprint for making these workplaces more efficient, focused, and pleasant to be in.

Have you ever trekked into the office only to sit alone in a phone booth? Or perhaps you returned on a Wednesday morning forced to confront the distractions of a suddenly busy office? There’s no doubt that our workplace has changed. From how often we go in, to how we meet, workplace norms have been upended.

One glaring shortcoming in many offices has to do with virtual calls. Ark’s research team repeatedly hears from clients that virtual calls in the open are the biggest contributor to office distractions. Luckily, there’s a design solution to that: the desk-to-door ratio. The desk-to-door ratio measures private call spaces against workstations or desks, with a higher ratio indicating greater call capacity. If an office hits that ideal ratio of private to public space, the open office functions at its best.

Click here to read Ark’s full report.