It’s official: Open plan offices are now the dumbest management fad of all time

It’s official: Open plan offices are now the dumbest management fad of all time

New research suggests that open plan offices hinder collaboration rather than help it.

Previous studies of open plan offices have shown that they make people less productive, but most of those studies gave lip service to the notion that open plan offices would increase collaboration, thereby offsetting the damage.

The Harvard study, by contrast, undercuts the entire premise that justifies the fad. And that leaves companies with only one justification for moving to an open plan office: less floor space, and therefore a lower rent.

My current office is my first open plan one. I am still ambivalent about the benefits or otherwise of open plan. The shift may have contributed to my feeling that I had lost my mojo.

I definitely make heavy use of chat and messaging to communicate with people a couple of desks away. That might not necessarily be a bad thing. But I do miss the gently assertive act of simply walking into someone’s office to get their attention. It all seems a bit more difficult to do that in an open plan office.

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Comments

2 responses to “It’s official: Open plan offices are now the dumbest management fad of all time”

  1. I work open-plan, in a phone room, and it’s definitely for money-saving (in theory, non-call vocalised chat is banned, even with the person at the next desk). At least they never lied about their motives to me. A lot of people will probably feel a bit annoyed at this news.

  2. This Link was mentioned on duncanstephen.co.uk

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