Proponents of open offices claim that the design promotes employee collaboration, but a recent study found just the opposite.
Wide open workspaces actually reduce the time employees spend in face-to-face interactions by 73%, according to researchers at Harvard Business School and Harvard University. The researchers studied people who switched from individual cubicles to an open office plan.
After the switch, study participants turned more to electronic means of communication, with 67% spending more time on email, and 75% spending more time on instant messaging.
Providing conference rooms where people can have private conversations doesn't appear to offset the reduction in face-to-face interaction.