Metrocon 2019: The Design Behind Privacy

Architects and designers can play a large role in the functionality and workflow of an office. In today’s environment of co-working, open floor plans and remote work, no two offices are suited for identical layouts.

Collaboration has been central to the erosion of the cubicle-centric office of the past but this has come with its own pitfalls. With every screen and conversation now out in the open in some offices, the issue of privacy has been a concern for some workers.

However, other forces make a return to the old ways unlikely in the eyes of Andy Vawter, VP of Business Development for MPS, LLC.


“I don’t think it will change. Again, because how do you give everyone a private office and afford to pay the bills? I think there’s probably a sneaky secondary reason, which is employers don’t trust all their employees to focus on their job all the time. So, if you gave them three walls and a door to shut, they might just be on Instagram the whole time,” he said.

Vawter was at MetroCon 2019 to explain the dynamics at play within different office layouts and what each model means for privacy, productivity and how price plays a role. The balance of collaboration and privacy is something each business will have to navigate on its own.

“Outside of a noise cancelling headphone, we’re still very elementary on how we can treat this in those other environments, but we’ve solved some very unique situations,” Vawter explained.

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