If Workers Hate Open Office Plans, Why Do They Keep Getting Built?

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Approximately 70 percent of U.S. offices use open environments, without office cubicles or walls according to a 2017 Gallup poll. But when Apple presented its employees with a more open floor plan, some workers threatened to quit. The open work space has been gaining popularity for years despite employee complaints about distractions, loud coworkers and a lack of privacy. Advocates for the plan often cite increased collaboration but a recent Harvard Business School study found that office spaces without walls and doors led to a decrease in face-to-face communication. We discuss the pros and cons of the open work space, why it’s so popular with companies and unpopular with workers. If your office utilizes an open floor plan, how do you feel about it? Any tips for those struggling to work in one?

Open-Plan Offices: Time to Bring Back the Cubicle? (The Financial Times)


Elaine Moore, deputy editor, Lex column at The Financial Times

Janet Pogue McLaurin, global workplace leader, Gensler

Nikil Saval, editor, n+1 Magazine; author, "Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace"