Harvard study finds open-plan offices make workers less synergic

ST. LOUIS – An open floor plan is great for a home but bad for an office.

Experts say open floor plans can have a negative effect on an employee’s quality of work. Open workspaces were meant to increase communication; turns out they do the opposite.

Employees became more reluctant to give negative feedback or address sensitive issues in front of colleagues, which drove them to find more private ways to interact.

Harvard researchers found that face-to-face communication decreased by as much as 70 percent in open plans and workers used email and text more than they did in a cubicle.


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