In an open-plan office, there’s an obvious conflict when it comes to members of your workforce who are required to deal with sensitive data, and according to new research, office design that prioritises better data privacy is a growing demand from clients to architects.
The study, commissioned Glass Films, distributors of glass films for office spaces, sought to uncover the relationship between data security and UK architects. Of 155 architects interviewed, 72% of those agreed that they felt data privacy requirements were ‘inconvenient’ to office design. 71% even went so far to say that these requirements compromised their designs.
The research shows that its clients forcing their hands in a new landscape of open-yet-private work environments, as 70% of architects said that they had been briefed by clients to ensure this was accounted for.
“It’s no surprise that businesses are concerned, with one in three (34%) data breaches involving internal employees,” explains Chris Gould, commercial director of Glass Films. “Coinciding with a significant rise in coworking spaces, open-plan offices and hotdesking, architects are being asked to deliver privacy in offices while ensuring the design remains visually appealing.”
Glass Films’ Casper™ Cloaking Technology by Designtex obscures light emitted from digital screens only, making the display appear as a black screen to outside viewers.
When asked to rank their priorities for designing an office space, data security ranked fourth, behind accessibility, light and open-plan design.
Despite this, 69% of respondents to the study also said that a good architect should always consider data privacy.
It’s contributing to a defining moment in open-plan office design, also impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Architects and designers will need to reexamine how spaces can be both open, aesthetically pleasing and inspiring, while also offering spaces that function as private spheres for individual workers.