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Open Offices might be better than you think

Open Space Office
Photo by louisehoffmann83 from Pixabay.

Today, open-plan spaces are often perceived with negative biases, and especially some employees might feel observed in open-space offices and, therefore, rather opt them out.

Alexander Brem published an article offering several new interesting insights about the topic of open-plan spaces:

In 2014, a group of ten researchers moved their desks to a plan office for an initial period of six months combining work with a social environment and providing extra rooms for conversations. What might come to a contrast with mainstream expectations, they are still working in this open-space environment today. And even though in the beginning some co-workers needed to be reminded of the rules, the general traits and results are very positive. For example, the open-plan office emerged to be very beneficial for social skills and team collaboration.

In conclusion, the experiences suggests that open-plan spaces are not always the best working environment for everyone. As an example, employees with intensive communicational tasks might rather prefer separate offices, in order not to interfere with others. But with respect to simple rules and support from the leadership level, open-space plans are likely to become advantageous and very successful.

The article was published in “The Conversation” with the title “Open-plan offices are not inherently bad – you’re probably just using them wrong” and was translated and published in French and Indonesian. “The Conversation” offers independent news and views from the academic and research community.