I’m surprised it’s taken this long before there was a serious backlash against open-plan offices:
Organisational psychologist Dr Darryl Cross said workers were reporting major gripes with the open-plan layout and warned big corporations of a lack of productivity, the Herald Sun reports.
“People can’t feel free, open and relaxed. If they have to watch who is around and watch their calls then clearly they are not going to feel good,” Dr Cross said.
He said the open-plan office was born because it was cheap – not to benefit workers – and there was no doubt the system led to low morale.
“When you have a distraction it takes you 50 per cent more time to get back to it,” he said. “They can’t work in such an environment.”
Obviously it’s been a long while since I’ve been in an open-plan environment – barristers’ chambers are individual offices with doors you can shut if you need to concentrate on something, and most of my time is spent at court anyway – but I remember the outright opposition to such schemes at previous workplaces. One had to bribe staff with extra leave if they would just shut up and agree…
Does anyone – apart from the people in management who have their own offices – like this scheme? Have you grown used to yours, or does it still rankle at your soul every day you arrive at your desk?