Follow Us: Small Business Tip of the Day: The Downside of Open Offices

Spurred by tech startups and tight recession-era budgets came a trend of open offices: large, open rooms where everyone shares the space. Open-plan offices are supposed to spur creativity and innovation, but are the employees in these offices really happy about the setup? A recent guide found evidence to the contrary. Researchers from Virginia State University and North Carolina State University found that open offices are linked to lower productivity, while a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health found that workers in open office setups reported 62 percent more sick days on average than those in one-occupant layouts. As far as noise goes, researchers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University found the most irritating noises in open offices were conversations, ringing phones and machines.

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