The scientific evidence that demonstrates the stupidity of open offices continues to pour in.
Open offices do not enable collaboration. On the contrary you collaborate and interact more in the cubicle and cabin type offices.
Workers in an open office are not more productive. How can you be? With the drumbeat of constantly changing visual, auditory and olfactory inputs all around you, you are being distracted and interrupted hundreds of times every day.
An open office is an environment that tells you that it is not important to focus or to get the job done well. It forces you to struggle against totally avoidable obstacles and yet expects you to get the job done.
It’s like forcing you to sit at someone elses untidy desk with blaring music, bling and disco lights added and still expecting you to get your best work done.
You might as well put your employees in a crowded public space and expect them to work from there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Guess what you would want to do if you were made to work in a crowded public space all the time? You will crave privacy. You will eagerly wait for weekends and after office hours, when you can disappear into a private and quiet place where you can get some work done.
And that’s how people end up working all the time – in office and outside. Personal time and family time goes out of the window. So does curling up on the sofa to spend two hours reading a book.
Open offices create an attention deficit hyperactivity culture that spills over to addictive, obsessive compulsive, social media use. And then blank out zombie like in front of dumb television.
People need privacy. People need silence. People need to be left alone. That’s when they get good work done. Whether it’s problem solving, coding, writing, reading, analysis, research or decision making.
They will collaborate, reach out, talk and meet when they must. These can not be impositions. These are choices.
Here is an article in the Economist with some science and opinions on open offices – https://www.economist.com/business/2018/07/28/open-offices-can-lead-to-closed-minds