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.
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