Cutting through the bullshit.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Modern office design

Dr Vinesh Oommen from the Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation has ‘reviewed a global pool of research into the effect of modern office design, concluding the switch to open-plan has led to lower productivity and higher worker stress’.

"The evidence we found was absolutely shocking…In 90 per cent of the research, the outcome of working in an open-plan office was seen as negative, with open-plan offices causing high levels of stress, conflict, high blood pressure, and a high staff turnover. The high level of noise causes employees to lose concentration, leading to low productivity …

Why would employers subject their most precious asset to such perils, even sacrificing the holy grail of productivity?

Dr Oommen sums it up nicely.

employers are always looking for ways to cut costs, and using open-plan designs can save 20 per cent on construction.

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