Architects, contractors, and building managers in New York and New Jersey who design and build office buildings need to keep distraction markers in mind when they make their plans. Distraction markers are an important part of code and need to be in place.
For those living in states where distraction markers aren’t mandatory, they’re worth considering. Truth be told, with the rise of phones to distract us, it’s likely that distraction markers will become a part of the building code in more and more places. Distraction markers not only keep workers safe, they can also add levels of security and make impressions on visitors.
Here, we’ll first cover the basics of distraction markers and go through some different styles you might want.
The basics: What are distraction markers and why do I need them?
Contemporary designers have moved away from sheetrock and drywall to embrace more open office plans that use glass to separate rooms and offices. Glass walls and doors give offices a spacious feel, but they are truly painful to run into. For a less-than-serious example of a man who doesn’t notice his office’s distraction markers, check out this clip from “The Other Woman” where a villain runs into glass not once (at 0:25), but twice (at 1:00).
Ouch. Without distraction markers, glass walls and doors can become a major liability for businesses.
These window film markings range from simple to ornate, but in any case, they give people visual cues to help them avoid glass as they navigate the space.
Distraction markers serve a number of other functions in an office:
- Direct people around the office, perhaps using arrows or labels to orient visitors
- Add aesthetics and visual interests to plain glass (see Look 1)
- Create or enhance privacy (see Look 2)
- Contribute to branding and advertising (see Look 3)
- Avoiding lawsuits and liability from injured employees.
As mentioned, in New York and New Jersey, privacy markers are a part of code. You can read more about the details of the New York code and the New Jersey code at the linked pages. New York has some of the strictest codes in the country on distraction markers.
In New York, distraction markers must be
- At least 30, but no more than 36 inches off the ground,
- At least 60 but no more than 66 inches from the ground, and
- At least four inches in diameter.
Distraction markers can be marked differently according to the code, including etching, sandblasting, paint, and door pulls. We at Layr believe that window film is the most cost effective and visually striking way to make distraction markers for any price point.
Look 1: Simple and classic
Let’s say you are looking for a simple way to keep people safe and follow code in your office. Perhaps you’ve already blown through your building budget.
In this case, you’ll think through the building aesthetic and decide on whether you want a simple strip of dots, squares, dashes, or other shapes. Our installer will come out to your office and add in a lower and upper strip.
Though this is the most basic option, clients are usually surprised at how much work these little strips do to keep employees safe and add a touch of class to any office.
Look 2: Private
Some businesses are looking for more functionality. Often there are conference rooms and offices where privacy is needed. In these cases, the distraction marker isn’t a small strip but becomes a 36 inch band that people can’t see inside.
The window film for this look can be computer cut where we make patterns that fit into your overall office aesthetic. But the simplest and most common look here is called body banding.
This look is incredibly functional for modern offices. Workers can enjoy the aesthetics of an office designed with glass but have privacy taken care of by this dual purpose privacy/distraction marker window film.
Look 3: The wow factor or fuller coverage
Some businesses want more privacy or they want a more custom design. For these looks, clients can order full coverage film without branding ready to install or work with us to create custom film designed to your specs. Both create a great look, and below, we’ve featured custom prints on full coverage film to show what’s possible.
Gradient Window film
Gradient window film is also called ombre window film. It transitions from fully opaque at the bottom to fully private at the top. Here you can see the effect it creates at Platinum Properties.
Here’s another example of custom film that performs a triple whammy: it functions as distraction marker, privacy film, and branding.
Dichroic distraction markers
Dichroic window film creates color effects by reflecting some colors and allows others to pass through. This film is unique but can also be used to create both distraction markers and a cool vibe in an office.
Building code is code, but that doesn’t mean distraction markers can’t do more for your brand while also keeping workers safe.
The modern office
When designing an office, there’s much to think about. We hope that this gallery of selected looks has helped you see the many possibilities for distraction markers and that something here caught your imagination .
Though it is possible to install this film yourself, it’s not advisable. The work of installing film is exacting. Sometimes clients end up trying to do it themselves and spending double what an installer would charge.