Open floor plans, particularly poorly executed plans that are intended to shove as many bodies into the smallest possible space, hurt employee morale and interfere with work. Many employees may resent a perceived loss of status as they are removed from offices and given a space for which there is little or no privacy. But open floor plans do more than hurt employees’ self-esteem. Dr Matthew Davis, a professor of the psychology of office design at Leeds University Business School, has researched “the poor hygiene and frequent distractions of open-plan offices,” with one report finding that “the loss of productivity [was] so great in an open-plan office that it outweigh[ed] the money saved by putting everyone in the same room.”
So what is business doing in response? Apparently, “organisations are now seeking flexible, modern offices with private pods where workers can hunker down without interruption, with protocols such as no talking on mobile phones, for instance, and no eating.” Or perhaps your employer will invest in a “chair with zip-up sides.”
Or CEOs could stop listening to the finance guys when making decisions about workplace design and opt for space that lets their employees do their work. Just throwing that out there.
Link via @QuietMark.