National Edition

Homeless at work: Why companies micromanage where workers sit

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013 2:50 p.m. MDT

One contradiction to the open-shifting-mix-'em-around-to-make-more-collaboration trend was outlined in an article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology: "Open-plan office layout is commonly assumed to facilitate communication and interaction between co-workers, promoting workplace satisfaction and team-work effectiveness. On the other hand, open-plan layouts are widely acknowledged to be more disruptive due to uncontrollable noise and loss of privacy. … Enclosed private offices clearly outperformed open-plan layouts … particularly in acoustics, privacy and the proxemics issues. Benefits of enhanced 'ease of interaction' were smaller than the penalties of increased noise level and decreased privacy resulting from open-plan office configuration."

In other words, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.

For now, however, the trend is marching forward, according to the Wall Street Journal. Until the next trend.


Twitter: @degroote


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