Open-plan offices have taken off because of a desire to increase interaction and collaboration among workers. But an innovative new study has found that employees in open-plan offices spend 73% less time in face-to-face interactions. Email and messaging use shot up by over 67%.
The study is the first to track the impacts of open-plan offices using objective measures of communication. It used electronic badges and microphones to monitor interactions among employees and tracked changes in email use.
The findings build on previous research, which has found, for instance, open-plan work environments compromise employees’ ability to focus and concentrate on their work.