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Open Plan Offices - Dumbest Management Fad

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maxine.caldwell
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Over the decades, a lot of really stupid management fads have come and gone, including:
Six Sigma, where employees wear different colored belts (like in karate) to show they've been trained in the methodology.
Stack Ranking, where employees are encouraged to rat each other out in order to secure their own advancement and budget.
Consensus Management, where all decisions must pass through multiple committees before being implemented.

It need hardly be said that these fads were and are (at best) a waste of time and (at worst) a set of expensive distractions. But open plan offices are worse. Much worse. Why? Because they decrease rather than increase employee collaboration.
As my colleague Jessica Stillman pointed out last week, a new study from Harvard showed that when employees move from a traditional office to an open plan office, it doesn't cause them to interact more socially or more frequently.
Instead, the opposite happens. They start using email and messaging with much greater frequency than before. In other words, even if collaboration were a great idea (it's a questionable notion), open plan offices are the worst possible way to make it happen.https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/its-official-open-plan-offices-are-now-dumbest-management-fad-of-all-time.html?cid=sf01002
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maxine.caldwell
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Harvard researchers Ethan Bernstein and Stephen Turban had 150 participating employees wear a gizmo called a sociometric badge. For three weeks before and after the redesign it recorded wearers' movement, location, posture and, via infrared and sound sensors, their every conversation with colleagues. The researchers also reviewed the number of text messages and emails subjects sent during the test period.

The results have just been published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. What did they show? In short, as walls came down, so did the number of interactions among co-workers. Simultaneously, the number of emails and text messages shot up.
7 mths
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Do you see any merit in open plan offices? Are you for or against them?
7 mths
udoy-banik
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The same people that push the open office idea are the same people that don't want to work from home, and the same ones that will create a meeting for a problem that could've been solve in an email...to them the office is a place to socialize instead of work...thats where they get their energy. (And they are just as bad when they go the gym). Then, in both cases, will always complain that they don't have enough time to get their work done...while standing around the water cooler complaining.
7 mths
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The stupidest idea ever. Open plan houses drive me nuts too...noise travels no matter what the environment.
7 mths
leighton-abbiemarcus-jessiesheikh.awais
leighton-abbie, marcus-jessie, sheikh.awais and 7 other people started following this discussion
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Such a single minded one sided statement. If you design an open plan functional area that has an area dedicated to quiet transactional work, areas for collaboration, pause and socializing, you simply cannot fail. And that is a smart statement replicated by many fortune 500 companies. Your article Inc. Magazine is weak and one sided. You clearly desperate to remain relevant, but this trash isn't going to get you there. Maybe next time, instead of visiting an open plan office where employee needs and wants have not been taken into consideration,go visit an office where Agile working had been adopted and embraced. An office where employee feel at home and at ease, empowered but free. Honestly cannot believe you published this garbage.
6 mths
Host
Such a single minded one sided statement. If you design an open plan functional area that has an area dedicated to quiet transactional work, areas for collaboration, pause and socializing, you simply cannot fail. And that is a smart statement replicated by many fortune 500 companies. Your article Inc. Magazine is weak and one sided. You clearly desperate to remain relevant, but this trash isn't going to get you there. Maybe next time, instead of visiting an open plan office where employee needs and wants have not been taken into consideration,go visit an office where Agile working had been adopted and embraced. An office where employee feel at home and at ease, empowered but free. Honestly cannot believe you published this garbage.
I’m always surprised how Inc is still around the articles are so fast paced, lack showing two sides or any situation, no real in depth thinking. I’ve unsubscribed twice already not sure why I’m seeing their posts. You could write this in 15 minutes then throw it out there. For what?
6 mths
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I've worked in five open plan environments. I cannot say that any of them were conducive to my thinking, having phone conversations, or staying focused. Just my input.
6 mths
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There is a massive difference between an open plan office and an Agile workplace, if you don't have an office conducive to your needs, the companies you've worked for indeed failed in their implementation, so they actually created an open plan office to save money instead of creating an area to supplement and compliment your efforts and different needs as employees.
6 mths
terry-sheetsromelia-g-barnesTaryn.Edgar
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Everyone I've known who's worked on open concept has hated it because very little work gets done.
6 mths
kylie-alexiseashley.assde.de
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