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How Smart Glass Overcomes the Challenges of Open Office Plans

Open, flexible layouts increase workplace satisfaction, creativity and team-building efforts by removing walls between coworkers. Some of the most innovative companies, such as Google, opt for open floor plans that are designed to boost performance, collaboration and employee interaction. However, open concept workspaces do have drawbacks when it comes to privacy, distractions and noise. Fortunately there are ways to overcome many of these issues thanks to smart glass technology.

In this post, we will discuss how switchable glass and film offer unprecedented design freedom when creating open office plans.


What Is An Open Office Plan?


An open office plan is a modern office layout that allows for greater transparency and ad-hoc collaboration amongst employees. This is accomplished by eliminating physical barriers to increasing visibility and the likelihood of idea-sharing. 


Challenges of Open Offices


While open office layouts come with many benefits, they aren’t without their challenges. There are two main issues with open office plans:

Lack of Privacy:

An open office isn’t for everyone. Some employees may require more privacy in order to focus. 

Noise:

Anyone who has ever worked in an open office understands how loud they can become. While an open coworking space can inspire brainstorming, these conversations can also be distracting. Some people are able to concentrate despite the noise while others may need silence to stay productive. This can result in many workers using headphones and create the opposite effect intended by an open office design. 

Switchable Glass Can Be Used to Create Open Offices That Meet the Needs of All Employees


Smart glass and smart film go from clear to frosted when powered on and off, providing privacy on demand. Smart glass contains the switchable PDLC layer sandwiched between two pieces of glass and is installed just like regular glass by any glazier. Smart film is applied to the surface of existing glass, transforming it into switchable glass, and can be installed as a do-it-yourself project or professional window film installers. 

Here are some ways switchable glass walls, doors and partitions overcome the challenges of open office plans:

Flexible Privacy

While workers may require privacy to focus during some work periods, they may not all of the time. Switchable film and glass give employees privacy when they need it and can be transparent when they want to feel connected to the rest of the office. This creates a truly flexible office space that adapts to workers needs throughout the day. 

Brighter, Bigger Offices

Glass allows natural light to penetrate deeper into offices and keeps spaces visually open. Even when electric privacy glass and film are switched to opaque they still let ⅔ of daylight through. Access to daylight has a significant impact on employee productivity and job satisfaction, so the fewer walls or barriers placed near the exterior, the better. Consider putting open and group spaces along the perimeter of the office near windows and placing private offices in the interior of the office space.

Noise Reduction

Glass acts as a barrier against noise. Typically, noise reduction glass costs about 100 dollars per square foot. Smart glass includes these soundproofing properties at no additional cost, making workspaces quieter without acting as a visual barrier. However, collaboration in an open office involves conversation. That’s why Smart Glass Country also offers movable glass partitions, sliding doors and retractable glass walls to create a truly dynamic open office space.

Interior Private Offices

Glass fronts can be used for interior private offices to visually connect them to the rest of the office and ensure daylight reaches them.

Glass Conference Rooms

Using privacy glass in meeting rooms keeps them connected to the rest of the office. Whenever privacy is needed during meetings, the glass can simply be switched to opaque with a remote control, wall switch, smartphone or voice command. Smart glass always makes an impression on visitors and clients and can also double as a whiteboard or projection screen when switched to frosted.

Increased Supervision:

Glass offers greater visibility than solid partitions and cubicles and allows employers to ensure productivity.

Lower Costs:

Open offices that use glass partitions are less expensive to build because they require less infrastructure. By allowing both natural light and artificial light to flow between spaces, glass lowers energy costs.

Improved Employee Satisfaction:

Workers benefit from increased natural light, shared workspaces and open communication. This results in greater job satisfaction.



The days of boxy cubicles and noisy cafeteria style open office layouts are gone. Nowadays, workspaces can be both open, private and flexible. Contact us today to discover how smart glass technology can be used to create the ultimate open office plan for your office.

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