For facilities managers, a key part of the job description involves taking care of the work environment for a building’s occupants.
In recent years, the popularity of the open office layout has come under fire from both researchers and the workforce that occupies such offices, layouts currently inhabited by approximately 70% of American workers.
While open office layouts can save companies money and ostensibly encourage collaborative work, studies and mountains of anecdotal evidence suggest that they lead to a decline in individual productivity and possibly the overall health of office occupants.
We took a long look at the evidence to determine whether open offices are inherently dysfunctional — at least compared to environments in which occupants had their own offices — as well as the factors that continue to drive the open office trend, and what FMs and office designers can do to improve open office layouts.
Below are tips, ideas, suggestions and straight-up complaints from 12 experts on this topic.
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