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Are open-plan offices bad for productivity?

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Learning and development | 20 Jun 2016, 01:15 PM Agree 0
Open-plan offices are supposed to enable better teamwork, more social learning and less hierarchy. But new research suggests there's a catch.
  • HW | 20 Jun 2016, 05:53 PM Agree 0
    Well I never! Distractions are bad for productivity - who would have guessed?

    We guessed, when Open Plan layouts were introduced in the Public Service in Canberra in 1975 - or thereabouts, as I recall - because they were cheaper to build. But that is only half the equation: lost productivity and increased workplace stress make up the other half.

    Certainly there are some kinds of work where face-to-face (or cheek-by-jowl !) contact among team members is a good thing, even essential. But there are also many jobs where it is essential to be able to concentrate on a task demanding thought, and thus freedom from interruption, for significant periods of time. In an Open-plan world, the preconditions for the latter kind of work have been discounted for forty years.

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