Noisy neighbors are the biggest disruption at work, according to a recent survey from talent mobility consultants Lee Hecht Harrison. Forty-five percent of respondents to an online poll said that talkative co-workers was the most distracting element at the office.
Open offices are bad for us: they make us less productive, less healthy, and less happy to be at work. Ample research suggests that we'd be better off returning to the days of offices with doors -- or, at the very least cubicles with higher walls. So why is the open office so popular?
Open-plan offices always look so cool when you see them in pictures, like maybe the ball pit and cotton candy machine are just around the corner. (And, of course, if you work at Google, they very well might be.) But all is not bliss in the land of sunlight and easy collaboration.
Seventy percent of workers now work in an open-plan office, according to the International Management Facility Association. The real question is, how many of those folks actually like working in an environment that potentially contains more beanbag chairs and foosball tables than doors and walls?