The terrible reasons bosses love open plan


There is increasing evidence that open plan flooring is bad for productivity and bad for your health – but executives aren’t yet paying attention. According to Geoffrey James, writing in Inc. here’s why.

  1. Following fashion: Collaborative work teams and open plan flooring are on-trend right now. And it’s not changing anytime soon.
  2. Lazy management: Managing people is hard. Put them all in one place and they can work it out among themselves – or so some people might imagine.
  3. Superficially vibrant: Corridors are boring. Open plan, on the other hand, looks vibrant and exciting for visitors.
  4. Reinforcing hierarchy: If almost no one has an office, then having a private space at all is an indicator of status. Hence your boss loves it.
  5. Lacking trust: It’s the panopticon: on an open plan floor your boss and your colleagues can (potentially) always see what you’re doing. Better get off your mobile, then.
  6. Ignoring the evidence: Then again, with flooring laid out and money spent, some executives may simply be ignoring evidence of the negative effects that open plan can have – and are more willing to stick with the strategy rather than admit mistakes.

The six dumb reasons executives like open plan offices