Open plan offices ‘are a really bad idea’, scientists conclude

·1-min read
Open plan office rex
Open plan office rex

Open-plan offices were supposed to make us a bit more chatty, and prone to working together in healthy, sparkly new ways.

But researchers from Harvard Business School have analysed what really happens in open-plan offices… and it’s not quite what everyone expected.

Researchers followed employees at two companies which were reorganising office space to be open-plan – monitoring how they communicated in person and via email.

MORE: Wiltshire poisoning: Couple critical in hospital were exposed to same nerve agent as Skripals
MORE: Saddleworth Moor fire now being investigated as arson, police confirm

They found that in an open-plan office, face-to-face chats drop 70%, while emails go up 20-50%.

The researchers wrote, ‘That can have profound consequences for how – and how productively – work gets done.

‘To our knowledge, no prior study has directly measured the effect on actual interaction that results from removing spatial boundaries to create an open office environment.’

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting