Before COVID-19, open-plan offices were on the rise. Facebook's new Menlo Park headquarters boasted the "largest open floor plan in the world," for example.
The open-plan office obsession, which probably peaked around ten years ago, was based on what I've called "collaboration bias" — the under-examined assumption that ad-hoc social encounters are more valuable for business, creativity, and productivity than un-interrupted "deep work."
But a series of recent surveys shed new light on the misguided disaster that is the open-plan office and the importance of private offices, regardless of where they are.
While employees hated open-plan offices before, disdain for open-plan offices is greater now than before the pandemic, according to a survey by Framery, which makes sound-proof booths for offices. Some 41% say their ability to concentrate in an open-floor plan office significantly worsened after the pandemic.
But let me be very clear: Open-plan offices are a threat to your company's ability to succeed.
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