Skip to comments.Yes, open office plans are the worst
Posted on 07/14/2018 4:58:09 PM PDT by BenLurkin
While the concept behind open office spaces is to drive informal interaction and collaboration among employees, the study found that for both groups of employees monitored (52 for one company and 100 for the other company) face-to-face interactions dropped, the number of emails sent increased between 20 and 50 percent and company executives reported a qualitative drop in productivity.
[Organizations] transform their office architectures into open spaces with the intention of creating more [face-to-face] interaction and thus a more vibrant work environment, the studys authors, Ethan Bernstein and Stephen Turban, wrote. [But] what they often getas captured by a steady stream of news articles professing the death of the open office is an open expanse of proximal employees choosing to isolate themselves as best they can (e.g. by wearing large headphones) while appearing to be as busy as possible (since everyone can see them).
While this study is far from the first to point fingers at open office space designs, the researchers claim this is the first study of its kind to collect qualitative data on this shift in working environment instead of relying primarily on employee surveys.
From their results, the researchers provide three cautionary tales:
Open office spaces dont actually promote interaction. Instead, they cause employees to seek privacy wherever they can find it.
These open spaces might spell bad news for collective company intelligence or, in other words, an overstimulating office space creates a decrease in organizational productivity.
Not all channels of interaction will be effected equally in an open layout change. While the number of emails sent in the study did increase, the study found that the richness of this interaction was not equal to that lost in face-to-face interactions.
(Excerpt) Read more at techcrunch.com ...
I always thought it was to punish us cubicle, bottom dwelling, nerds.
My new facility which I only have to visit, has an open office layout.
Seeing several management types always wearing headphones is kind of depressing.
However long I have it, I am grateful for my office.
It’s a cost thing. Productivity falls drastically when people cannot think. Even customer service representatives need some level of space and quiet. They typically need to be able to see and communicate with each other, but that doesn’t mean open space and asses to elbows.
Open office, and open laboratory etc. plans are an absolutely stupid idea propagated by hierarchical morons who all have private offices.
I love open office designs, no windows, lots of cameras, and raised supervisors desks so they can watch me all day. Its helps if the temperature is either below 65 degrees or over 85. An intrusive HR diversity program combined with a large screen tv blasting MSNBC all day is the real key to productivity.
Its a cost thing.
Exactly. Saying it increased collaboration was always a BS excuse.
Another company resides on our floor. They have the open office arrangement (not the big cheese- of course- he has his own office). It is a software company. By open, I mean they all work on a long table with no partitioning at all. Both companies share the restroom facilities. Long story short... those folks NEVER interact with each other in the hall. I never see ANY of them smiling or having any kind of spring in their step. It just looks to TOTALLY suck.
Our company has a large open area office where our drafting department is located. New policy takes affect Monday. No headphones or earbuds and phone use only during break or lunch. They mostly listen to music or stream movies while they should be doing autocad. Hope a bunch quit. We need new blood.
Couldn’t have said it better.
Open office spaces cater to gossipers who want to spend their days yammering about how the color dress Sally Sue is wearing doesn’t suit her.
I see what you did there. Good job, worker cog 8675309.
I read an article a while back that intelligent people needs their privacy and space in order to think and be productive.
One of the places where I saw an open office situation was at a certain recruiting office and they had about 20 workers there around the common conference table. Whenever you would call in there were no less than 8 people grabbing at the phones at the same time to answer it. I noted it and thought to myself "Yup, this is indeed a tough place to work."
It was rare for you to wait 2 rings before they answered you calls.
I shudder at the thought of being bombarded with all that USA hating crap on TV all day. I am sure that most of the people there are brain numb at the end of the day from enduring that item alone!
The mantra is “collaboration”. The reality is that most people need to be able to focus, and that’s very difficult in an open office.
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