Open Office Concept by Hunter Stuart


Although a majority of American workers go to offices with open floor plans (70% of us, according to the International Facilities Management Association), companies are beginning to acknowledge that this set-up isn’t always the best for getting work done. Without walls, there can be a lot of interruptions and distractions, making even the most diligent employee less productive. As a result, some U.S. companies are diversifying their workspaces to include secluded areas where employees can work undisturbed.

Although there is still some good evidence that knocking down physical barriers at work is a good thing — putting workers side by side lets them interact more easily and increases their sense of community,studies show — a growing body of research is gradually cementing the idea that open offices can also make it harder to get work done. By overstimulating us, they can make us more stressed and more distracted — and therefore less productive.

“Open offices increase communication, but not all communication is a good thing,” said Jennifer Veitch, an environmental psychologist with the National Research Council of Canada. “A lot of the time, the conversation is more about what’s on TV than about actual work.”

Do work in an open office environment? Share your thoughts on it. Does it improve or impede productivity? Distracting? The office photo used in this blog is my office taken from my desk.

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One thought on “Open Office Concept by Hunter Stuart

  1. I’ve worked for over 30 years in office environments. While good workers make any arrangement work I think open spaces within teams, so larger defined spaces, works the best. It allows for team communication but no distractions outside of that. My last position was with a London based company and they updated our US offices to their configuration which is a 12 foot long table type area with 4 people sitting on either side, no separations at all! Obviously lowers rent per person because of space but really distracting environment to work in.

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