how to survive in an open plan office

featured-on-usnOn a recent open thread, commenter Frieda asked this:

Our CEO announced this week that the new office space we are moving to next fall will be all open plan. No offices, no cubicles. Apparently even executives will have the same workspace as everyone else.

Does anyone else have experience working in an open plan office space? I’m generally one to accept things that I can’t change and just see how I adapt, but I’m certainly not thrilled about the announcement. Any advice, other than investing in noise-canceling headphones? Negatives I might not have thought of? Has anyone had any positive experiences?

I tackled this question today over at U.S. News & World Report. And it will probably not surprise you to read there that a new Harvard study found that whatever collaboration benefits that “open plan” layouts provide are outweighed by workers’ dissatisfaction with noise and privacy issues.

You can read my full answer here.

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