5 Reasons to Let Transparency Shine in Office Design

Transparent design principles are trending in the workplace today.  Check out 5 reasons why:

1. Out of sight, out of mind

Liquidnet Boston Space. Image © Visnick & Caulfield

Liquidnet Boston Space. Image © Visnick & Caulfield

When sight lines are limited to the walls of a cubicle, it is easy to forget that office spaces are in fact full of people. Breaking down site barriers in the workplace fosters collaboration because workers can see, and thus, easily access their colleagues across the way. Face-to-face interaction is more likely to spark innovative group work than an email chain or inter-office phone call; transparent design allows this to happen.

2. Bright light, bright mind

VCA Private Equity Firm Detail

Image © Neil Alexander for Visnick & Caulfield

Did you know that access to natural light positively influences job satisfaction, focus, productivity and memory recall?  Workers are more likely to enjoy working in an environment that is flushed with sunlight and accesses external views. Transparent design makes a conscious effort to extend natural light throughout the entire office through the use of glass, low partitions, and careful spacial planning.

3. Save a few bucks with green design

VCA Design

Liquidnet London Space. Image © Visnick & Caulfield

Buildings are responsible for 41% of the total US electricity consumption. But did you know that lighting contributes to 25% of this? Greater use of natural light through transparent design helps cut electricity consumption which in turn leads to more environmentally friendly interior spaces. Additionally, this helps cut down on business costs as overhead lighting also accounts for nearly half of monthly energy bills. Therefore, transparent design is both sustainable and cost-effective for any corporate space.

4. I can hear you

VCA Private Equity Firm Offices

A private equity firm. Image © Neil Alexander for Visnick & Caulfield

As offices become more open and transparent with the use of lower panels and glass walls, many employees are concerned about acoustical privacy.  Strategic placement of “noisy” areas and creative solutions to mask sound become very important in the design of a transparent space.  Humans are adaptive  by nature –  research has shown that when workers are visually conscious of their co-workers and surrounding environment, they are reminded to keep their voices down and will amazingly do so!

5. Share the view, create a community

VCA Glass Hallway

A venture capital firm corridor. Image © Neil Alexander for Visnick & Caulfield

Part of transparent design means strategically routing walkways around the exterior edges of the space. This further enhances views as no furniture can obstruct these areas. It also pulls everyone into the interior of the space during working hours, creating a central hub for community interaction.

Written by Isobelle Hememrs
Edited by Marilyn Shen, Senior Associate at Visnick & Caulfield, LEED, AP, IIDA, NCIDQ 025271