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Office Floor Plans: Open and Closed Case?

There has been a strong trend recently to move away from the more regimented office organization in favor of a more organic, open floor-plan. Central to the idea is the thinking that such an arrangement facilitates interaction and promotes creativity. Proponents point out that cubicles offer little actual privacy, while interrupting meaningful communication; the worst of both worlds. Why not have a floor plan where the office can function as a whole, senior members rubbing shoulders with interns rather than stratified and insular existences that choke innovation.

There is an equally strong backlash against open floor-plans. Critics say that the downsides far outstrip the benefits. The distraction of noise pollution, the lack of control over environmental factors such as temperature, and interruptions into productivity from frivolous and frequent spontaneous meetings cause employees to feel frustrated rather than creative and collaborative.

What are your thoughts? How can employers strike a balance between openness and focus? Join us on social media to share your thoughts.