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Wednesday Write-Up Wrap-Up: The Open-Plan Office Debate

This week’s wrap-up will be highlighting the most thrilling topic in office design right now: the open office plan. Ever since a group of Harvard Business School professors published a paper in July highlighting the negative effects of open offices, the interior design world has erupted with passionate debate on both sides of the argument. Is the study correct? Is the dip in employee satisfaction worth the bump in space utilization? We’ve collected four articles that explore a variety of perspectives on the argument and will, hopefully, improve your understanding of the topic.

The Very Best Office Design, According to 42,764 Workers

The first article comes from Inc. Magazine and complements the findings of the Harvard study by summarizing the results of findings by researchers at the University of Sydney. These researchers interviewed almost 43,000 workers who have familiarity with a variety of floor plans.

An Architect’s Defense of Open Plan Offices

The second article comes to us from Fast Company. They gave an architect the opportunity to discuss her viewpoints on a gaping hole in the Harvard study and how companies can fix open plan offices.

The Cargo Cult of Modern Office Design

Similar to the above, this article from Insight Publishing talks about the short-sightedness displayed by all those who decried the “death of the open plan” and about the need for nuance and sophistication in implementing an open design.

How Surveillance Technology Is Helping to Design Your Next Office

Finally, this article from the Australian Financial Review profiles how leading architecture and design firm Gensler is utilizing surveillance technology to collect the data necessary to design the perfect office.

So what do you think? Do you hate open office plans? Does a certain article speak to you? Do you think Gensler’s efforts are a bit too Big Brother? Let us know in the comments!

And, of course, whatever your floor plan, if you’re looking for help with your office design or furniture, check out our website: cic-group.com.

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