October 7, 2016
While open offices are a hot topic of the times, studies are showing the negative impacts that may result from open floor plans. For one, the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California, Berkeley indicates that the lack of “speech privacy” is heavily weighing on employees in such open-plan offices.
Rather than moving back towards traditional offices, many companies are reaching a compromise between the two styles of design. For example, the additional of individual rooms or phone booths, and privacy-zones are entering the office floor plans.
According to an article by the Wall Street Journal, “open-plan office space costs 50% less per employee than more traditional office layouts, because of its smaller footprint and lower build-out costs.” But, a Swedish study from 2014 sees a correlation between sick days taken in open-offices, as opposed to traditional offices, finding that open-office workers took double the amount of sick days as their counterparts.
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