Which Working Spaces are More Efficient?

Science Fields

Researchers from Harvard Business School and Harvard University became the first ones to measure the effect of open plan offices on the employees. As it turns out, we need walls for a better efficiency.

In a modern and productive working environment, one would expect to see employees interact face-to-face. Just imagine sharing a big bright office with your colleagues, and maybe even desks. Can you picture yourself working more efficiently? Harvard researchers got curious about the workplace environment’s effects and removed the physical boundaries in a real office, to observe the results. However, the results showed that the modern offices were not quite effective as we thought –especially regarding collaboration.

After the redesign, employees’ social interactions decreased by 70 percent, while the number of emails increased by 20 to 50 percent. Which means, instead of collaborating with co-workers, people showed a tendency to keep to their privacy. They preferred socialising via emails or texting.

As previous studies have also shown, open plan offices can have some negative effects on employee satisfaction, focus, and privacy concerns, causing the employees to feel marginalised, more distracted, and ultimately leading to negative relationships and uncooperative behaviour. So, before venturing forth to try the open plan office trend, one should consider these results.


  • 1. https://www.sciencealert.com/open-plan-office-worse-social-interaction-less-work-collaboration-science