Open plan offices, particularly very minimalist ones, are bad for workers’ health, studies have shown.
Several studies have found people are happier and healthier, and find it easier to concentrate in more private spaces.
It’s also been revealed that flu and sickness bugs spread faster among the workforce in open plan offices, so it makes sense to avoid shared office spaces if you have a choice.
One survey found that the hustle and bustle of modern offices can lead to a 32% drop in well-being and reduce employees’ output by 15%. Distracting surroundings cause unwanted brain activity and stop us from focusing on the task in hand.
It’s also been discovered that people work better if they are allowed pictures and plants to look at, and allowed to personalise their workspace.
Scandanavian scientists have looked at the relationship between office layouts and the number of sick days taken by staff. The more people sharing an office space, the more days were lost through staff absence.
The moral of the story is, when you plan an office space, create several smaller offices rather than one large one. And give people a private space to display a photo of their cat.