We’ve seen a dramatic increase in open-workspaces as companies look to make their floor plans more compliant with the Future of Work. Of course, this trend is not new, it has been happening for a while and depending on the workers and workspace, it can be tough to concentrate in some of these new environments.
Factors to consider are the type of work – is there a lot of phone calling? The density of the environment – workers per square foot, etc.
Sennheiser conducted a survey of 2,500 employees throughout the US, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Singapore, and Hong Kong, asking how office workers are leveraging their headsets to increase productivity. “Our latest study shows that 29% of office workers use a headset when they need to concentrate,” says Theis Mork, Vice President of Product Management Enterprise Solutions at Sennheiser. The headset’s Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology helps enhance the user’s ability to focus.
We summarized the survey in an infographic above for your quick consumption. In an exclusive interview with Jim Fairweather, vice president of sales and marketing – Sennheiser Enterprise Solutions Americas he told us a lot more about the study and the future of flexible workspaces:
What made Sennheiser initiate this study?
To make our solutions as relevant as possible to the future of the workplace, Sennheiser does an extensive amount of research. This survey was a way for us to make sure our latest features and characteristics are hitting the mark and addressing specific challenges, and to validate our strategies for new models and enhancements. As we consistently upgrade our solutions, we need to know how end-users are applying them. It’s exciting to see that we’ve been successful in designing around the challenges of real-world office environments.
Do you think these trends to more open and flexible workspaces will endure?
Open floorplans continue to be the most prevalent office design, which shows no sign of slowing. We continue to move toward more versatile workstyles, where each worker uses a multitude of devices over the course of the day, and tends to work in different locations, whether that’s from home, while in transit, on-the-go, or in an office space.
Why is Sennheiser the natural solution for companies looking to harness the future of work?
There is no single workplace anymore. Millennials now make up the majority of the workforce, and they’re used to switching between various devices at home and at work. They’re also used to immersive audio solutions and headsets they can wear all day. They listen to music while they work—it’s the new way to multi-task. We’ve focused on creating devices with flexible connectivity and a variety of options ranging from mobile to DECT models, including units that can connect to multiple types of devices throughout the day while maintaining superior audio quality. Workers aren’t chained to their desks anymore. Their technology needs to accommodate that in order for people to be their most productive selves, in and out of the official workplace.
Make a prediction about the workplace in the next 5-10 years which might surprise people.
Here’s a fact many companies avoid discussing: Not all workers love the open office workspace, simply because they can’t concentrate. Their spaces are not their own. Open floorplans will continue to be the norm for the sake of keeping teams working seamlessly, and because it lends itself to easier, more scalable build-outs for companies navigating a rapidly evolving marketplace. But technology will continue to be called upon to help workers take back control of their environments, whether through more accessible videoconferencing to help workers collaborate from anywhere, or sophisticated audio like noise-canceling headsets to aid focus, and plug-and-play SMB speakerphones to accommodate group conference calls on the fly.