Office trends come and go, with some businesses eagerly jumping on the bandwagon. One such trend is the concept of open-plan office spaces.
A report from the International Facility Management Association revealed that 70 percent of offices use an open floor plan.
Initially intended as a cost-cutting measure for reducing the square footage of office space, the open design was believed to encourage collaboration and communication among teammates. In reality, the open space concept reduced worker productivity. It has ultimately led to businesses devising new ways to make the open office more private.
Open Office Spaces by the Numbers
A 2018 Harvard study showed open office spaces reduced communication among coworkers. Another report found that open office environments produced a negative effect on employees, including decreased attention span and productivity. The same report found elevated stress levels among employees subjected to such workspaces.
In addition to feeling stressed and distracted, some expressed dissatisfaction with their jobs because of the open layout. Being forced to work in an environment that was not conducive to encouraging productivity led those same employees to find it necessary to search for other employment.