Employers need open and interactive spaces to encourage collaboration, and such spaces can introduce distractions. Distractions, however, sabotage focus, and focus work is a necessary part of collaborative efforts. How can we solve this conflict? Approach workplace design so that it encourages both collaboration and focus work: Offer employees a variety of workspace options, choice over where, how, and when to best work, and control over workspace features and furnishings. Make the workplace legible and clutter-free so employees won’t waste effort navigating the workplace. Lastly, include “recharge” spaces; focus work takes intense effort, and it requires breaks.

Designing for Focus Work