Office Design, Worker Experiences (07-01-21)

James and colleagues, via a literature review, evaluated employee experiences in cellular offices and more open workspaces.  Their research compared data collected for cellular workspaces with information from all other types of work areas (all those without full height walls and a door assigned to one individual).  The researchers determined that “working in open-plan workplace designs is associated with more negative outcomes on many measures relating to health, satisfaction, productivity, and social relationships. Notable health outcomes included decreased overall health and increased stress. Environmental characteristics of particular concern included noise and distractions, poor privacy, lighting and glare, and poorer temperature control. Most studies indicated negative effects on social relationships and interactions. Overall, the findings showed that while open-plan workplace designs may offer financial benefits for management, these appear to be offset by the intangible costs associated with the negative effects on workers.”

Olivia James, Paul Delfabbro, and Daniel King.  “A Comparison of Psychological and Work Outcomes in Open-Plan and Cellular Office Designs:  A Systematic Review.”  Sage Open, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244020988869