Michael Lopp is right on the money when it comes to open office plans. An open plan office isn’t optimizing for creativity and clear cognition.
I have a variety of issues regarding the open office trend. Lets start with the fact that the folks often making the space decision are managers who already dont spend much time at their desk because they are, by necessity, in meetings all day. Theyre already in a quiet and private conference room where they can focus on the task at hand. They (we) dont intimately understand the daily tax of constantly being interrupted because they (we) are not living it on a daily basis.
…In the past five years, the teams Ive seen work at impressive speed are the ones who self-organized themselves elsewhere. They found a dark corner of the building, they cleared out a large conference room, or they found an unused floor of a building and made it their own. While this might strike you as a case for shared common open space, its not. Its an argument for common space that is not shared because these teams have work to do and dont want a constant set of irrelevant interruptions.
He also links to two other great articles therein:
- The Open-Office Trap - The New Yorker
- Stables and Volatiles - Rands in Repose