The open-office plan: smart design, or overrated trend?

The open-office floorplan is modern, cheaper than the “old-school” office setup with separate rooms or cubicles, and better for collaboration and creativity. Well, that’s what we’d like to believe.

Instead, the open office is an environment where continuous distraction is common. Since everyone is sharing the same space, it’s easy for coworkers to chat with each other. This social aspect is nice, but it’s disruptive for those in the middle of completing urgent tasks.

Business owners are starting to realize the disadvantages of open-office plans. For one, there is no place to escape, you must be open-minded and willing to join random conversations. Some professions, like IT, publishers, and book editors require some privacy and isolation. And nobody likes the feeling that somebody can look over to your shoulder, or worse – monitor all your moves, when you come and go, how long your lunch break was, etc.

“Studies have over and over again linked physical privacy to psychological well-being — and while those in open offices may feel like they’re part of a cool, laid-back workspace, the fact is that open offices kill productivity and made people feel like they couldn’t control their surroundings.” Shareen Pathak, Digiday.

The original post “Why agencies should rethink the open-office plan” was published on Digiday, January 13, 2016 (written by Shareen Pathak)