Recent studies have shown that open floor plans in offices damage worker productivity.
The primary reason is because open floor plans result in more distractions from things like chatty neighbors, loud social discussions and loud music. Additionally, with open floor plans, some workers are more likely to impulsively interrupt their coworkers even when they can see that their coworkers are working.
Businessman Igor Cornelsen notes that yet more employers across the country are switching to open floor plans. The reason? They see open floor plans as the best way to improve team/department communication and keep an eye on their employees.
Of course, these reasons have been dis-proven as well. Although open floor plans help improve social interactions, the disruption to work can actually cause frustration, miscommunications and negative or low morale incidents between co-workers. Additionally, employees who are constantly watched often can become severely distracted by worry that they’ll be fired for anything they do or by employers standing over them.
If employers need to monitor their employees, the best method is to install security cameras everywhere and give their workers back high-wall cubicles and offices where they can work productively. For example, they might offer lounge-style breakrooms, potluck or other types of non-holiday group on-site or off-site meals, icebreaker games or team-building retreats.