When you walk into your open, airy, office-less office space, you might be thankful for your hyper-social, cubicle-free workplace. But what you’re really sacrificing—according to science—is your attention span, your productivity, and your creative juices
In a recent exposé in The New Yorker, NYC Member Maria Konnikova systematically destroys the myth that open work places are somehow good for us.
Open floor office spaces, first popularized in the early 2000s, were a logical reaction against an antiquated office culture. The aversion to the 1960s cubicle was inevitable since its first conception; even George Nelson, one of the original designers, anticipated that it would be useful for “planners looking for ways of cramming in a maximum number of bodies,” who would then become “the walking dead.”
But now that 70% of offices have renounced the cubicle and embraced an open floor plan, science is begging the question: do they actually work?
Studies have found that open spaces lead to increased stress, decreased health, and lower levels of concentration and motivation. Noise while working is scientifically proven to limit one’s ability to recall information, or even do basic math. On the contrary, offices give us a psychological sense of privacy, which in turn leads to feelings of control and productivity.
Agree or disagree? Read the original science here, and share your thoughts below!