When open-plan offices first came on the scene, everyone expected great things. Improved collaboration and communication, better social engagement, increased accountability and transparency, and a huge boost in efficiency. Unfortunately, half a century later, none of those promised benefits have come true. In fact, there’s absolutely no evidence that an open-plan office boosts morale or productivity, and mounting studies that show the exact opposite effects. At this point, the open-plan office is by far the most common work environment, but the rippling backlash is beginning. The correlations between privacy and productivity get stronger and stronger with each piece of research. In this infographic, we look at the ways the open-plan office can backfire.

 

 

The Pitfalls of Open-Plan Offices [Infographic]

Embed & Share this Infographic on Your Site

Research sources:

  1. http://bse.sagepub.com/content/33/3/339.abstract
  2. http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2013;volume=15;issue=62;spage=73;epage=78;aulast=Perham
  3. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494413000340#fig1
  4. http://qz.com/85400/moving-to-open-plan-offices-makes-employees-less-productive-less-happy-and-more-likely-to-get-sick/
  5. http://www.theguardian.com/money/work-blog/2014/sep/29/open-plan-office-health-productivity
  6. http://fortune.com/2013/06/12/the-three-biggest-workplace-distractions/
  7. http://www.quantumlearn.com/blog/bid/50317/6-Startling-Statistics-about-Interruptions-at-Work
  8. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324339204578173252223022388
  9. http://360.steelcase.com/articles/the-privacy-crisis-2/
  10. http://www.covermagazine.co.uk/cover/news/2344756/open-plan-offices-are-a-health-and-productivity-risk-canada-life
  11. http://interruptions.net/literature/CubeSmart-productivity-wp1.pdf
  12. http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-07-01/ending-the-tyranny-of-the-open-plan-office
  13. http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-open-office-trap
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23412582
  15. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/05/08/7-things-that-kill-your-productivity-at-work/
  16. http://www.human.cornell.edu/dea/outreach/upload/FPM-Notes_Vol1_Number11.pdf
  17. http://www.management-issues.com/news/6735/open-plan-offices-are-a-false-economy/
  18. http://newsok.com/interruptions-in-workplace-cost-productivity-experts-say/article/4745856