STUDY: Open Office Plans Work Against Productivity (Sorry, Hipsters)

open office plans

“Everyone is jonesin’ for an office, but I want mine first.”

“It creates an unfair meritocracy in the workplace, one that limits team building.”

“Closed doors equal closed communication.”

Any of those unhappy claims ever bellow at your agency? It’s very possible they have, and you haven’t heard it, because you have an office. This is largely why open office plans were created — to break down the walls of offices, as well of communication. Everyone sitting at tables, sharing spaces, and establishing limited boundaries establish morale and goodwill.

And then that loudmouth tool in his flip-flops showcasing that encrusted, amber big toe wants everyone to know he is on a call. Yeah, that’s why this study came out, and you may — or may not — like it. 

Based on this story in Mashable, researchers Jungsoo Kim and Richard de Dear at the University of Sydney discovered that noise privacy is the number one complaint among cubicle workers and open-plan employees, with 60% and 50% respectively describing it as “a major issue.”

The main issue, one that they say is bringing down the entire team, is the reduction of sound privacy.

OPEN OFFICEThese nouveau, feng-shui, pods of paradise were supposed to establish better communication, group-think, and morale, right? However, it seems no one stopped to consider that pesky door and those pseudo-superior walls actually created a nice noise buffer that many wish they had right about now.

Not even good tunes can help you escape from everyone “prairie dogging” over the pony wall in your cube.

According to the story, changes of scenery do a team some good. Mobile spaces, working from home, or even the company boning up for some Bose noise-cancelling phones. Whatever it takes, right? Anything to get that guy to stop talking so loud. I mean, I’m shopping over here WORKING…working…yeah, that’s it.

We’d love to hear what kind of office space fits you best, and the PR industry as a whole. Let us know.