Why open offices are bad for us?
Four years ago, Chris Nagele did what many other technology executives have done before — he moved his team into an open concept office.
His staff had been exclusively working from home, but he wanted everyone to be together, to bond and collaborate more easily. It quickly became clear, though, that Nagele had made a huge mistake. Everyone was distracted, productivity suffered and the nine employees were unhappy, not to mention Nagele himself.
In April 2015, about three years after moving into the open office, Nagele moved the company into a 10,000-square foot office where everyone now has their own space — complete with closing doors.
Numerous companies have embraced the open office — about 70% of US offices are open concept — and by most accounts, very few have moved back into traditional spaces with offices and doors. But research has shown that we’re 15% less productive, we have immense trouble concentrating and we’re twice as likely to get sick in open working spaces, has contributed to a growing backlash against open offices.
Since moving, Nagele himself has heard from others in technology who say they long for the closed office lifestyle. “Many people agree — they can’t stand the open office,” he says. “They never get anything done and have to do more work at home.”
There’s one big reason we’d all love a space with four walls and a door that shuts: . The truth is, we can’t multitask and small distractions can cause us to lose for upwards of 20 minutes.
What’s more, certain open spaces can negatively impact our memory. This is especially true for hotdesking, an extreme version of open plan working where people sit wherever they want in the work place, moving their equipment around with them.
We retain more information when we sit in one spot, says Sally Augustin, an environmental and design psychologist in La Grange Park, Illinois. It’s not so obvious to us each day, but we offload memories — often little details — into our surroundings, she says.
伊利诺伊州La Grange Park的环境和设计心理学家萨利说，当我们坐在一个地方时，会保有更多的信息。她说，记忆在每天的流逝并不明显，我们往往将小细节遗忘于周身环境之中。
For many of us, it’s the noise that disturbs us the most. Professors at the University of Sydney found that nearly 50% of people with a completely open office floorplan, and nearly 60% of people in cubicles with low walls, are dissatisfied with their sound privacy. Only 16% of people in private offices said the same.