Businesses in the Bay Area and around the world are beginning to make the switch toward open-floor office plans, but these collaborative environments also have their disadvantages. Due to a lack of walls, colleagues are more susceptible to hearing one another’s conversations.

However, it is possible to maintain a healthy and productive work environment within this layout. These tips derive from an article from Business Insider.

Separate collaboration and thinking spaces

The point of an open-floor plan is to encourage employees to work together, but does your office have a designated quiet area? Having such a space may be beneficial to those who are working to meet a deadline. There is also value to having a room dedicated to presentation or conference call preparation — practicing in the middle of the work floor will inevitably cause unwanted distractions.

Movable furniture

Allowing workers the chance to move from one area to another can be more effective than designated workstations. This flexibility can tailor to extroverts who advocate for open-floor offices as well as introverts who may prefer a little more privacy.

“[T]oday’s workplace needs to be able to switch to different work modes, since we’re all working with much less personal space than in past generations,” Business Insider contributor Vivian Giang wrote.

Whether you’re a newly established startup or a recognized organization like Facebook, which plans on building the largest open-floor office in the world, these open-floor tweaks can be made at any point of a company’s lifespan. Before looking through potentially expensive, designer office catalogs, visit Bay Area office furniture liquidators that have a large collection of lightly used commercial furniture. Looking at pre-owned office furniture can be a great way for you to define the right design for a flexible work space.