The Open Office Doesn’t Have to be the End of Privacy

Despite the fact that over 70% of employees in the US work in an open office environment, there seem to be many more critics than fans. It’s important to remember that privacy doesn’t always mean four walls and a door. Our research pointed to five privacy strategies that people use, sometimes unconsciously, to control their experiences.

5 privacy strategies

360 Research


Zuckerberg, Gates, Bezos: Why Privacy Matters

What’s driving the privacy crisis? Donna Flynn, director of WorkSpace Futures for Steelcase, explains why privacy and collaboration can get along. Plus, what neuroscience tells us about our need for privacy in the workplace.

May 23, 2017

Privacy + Openness: It’s About Balance

Private offices aren’t the solution to today’s challenges at work, and open-plan offices aren’t the problem. Rather, it’s about balance.

October 4, 2016

Supporting Your Need for Office Privacy

Three design strategies for supporting privacy in the workplace give choice and control back to workers.


3 Reasons for the Privacy Crisis at Work

There are five personal privacy strategies we can all use at work. Melanie Redman, a senior design researcher for WorkSpace Futures at Steelcase, describes these five strategies derived from her team’s research project.

360 Magazine
November 14, 2017

The Privacy Crisis

Although workplaces today make it seemingly easy for people to collaborate, most leaders remain dissatisfied with the pace and frequency of breakthroughs.

Design for Privacy



V.I.A. creates intelligent rooms, designed to augment human interaction by providing true acoustical privacy and hosting technology. It provides a sense of permanence with the speed and design flexibility of a relocatable wall.

Campfire Screen

Campfire Screen

Enclosed in mesh, Campfire Screen by Turnstone creates an office oasis by providing semi-private boundaries.



Divisio side screen allows workers to adapt their space instantly without tools: they can remove the screen to facilitate collaboration or add it on any work surface to create privacy.



B-Free furniture forms neighborhoods within the workplace. Seating, desk, tables, and screens create spaces where people easily connect and collaborate.

Privacy Planning Ideas



This high performance executive private office supports varied work modes. The focus area offers ample storage, guest seating, and inspiring


Leaders can split their time, and their space, between individual work and an area dedicated to collaboration and content sharing.


Everything a leader needs to be successful: a pair of guest chairs for face-to-face dialog, a lounge chair for reflection,


A setting designed for leaders who spend a portion of their time performing focused work. An intimate, media-enabled breakout area


Offices designed for quiet contemplative focus work often go underutilized. Optimize real estate by having the same space serve multiple


Create a resident executive office that communicates status and hierarchy but solves for contemporary users needs. Connectivity to utilities happens


Owned, private office that thoughtfully incorporates video conferencing by placing market surfaces (glass) within sight lines of the camera –

Empowering Introverts

Susan Cain Quiet Spaces by Steelcase offer five ways to empower introverts at work. Each space supports specific postures, work modes, and expectations for quiet and privacy.

View Susan Cain Quiet Spaces

Susan Cain Quiet Spaces
Inspiring Materials


Start a Project

At Steelcase, we’ve learned that providing an ecosystem of workspaces that provide employees with choice and control over how and where they work is imperative. We invite you to contact our sales team or a dealer to learn how to design for privacy in the open office.

Contact Sales

Find a Dealer