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Do Open-Plan Work Environments Work?

By April 30, 2019June 8th, 2020No Comments

A word of warning for open-plan workspacesIf you are sitting at your desk right now, look up. Take a good look around you. Do you have paper everywhere? Big piles of things to do? A full physical inbox of projects needing your input, journals that need reading, or proposals that need responding to? When you look at your computer screen, do you have a huge email inbox that you use as your to-do list?

When you arrive home after work, can you park your car in your garage? Or is the space filled with boxes and projects and reminders of things you have to do?

Our physical environment affects our ability to achieve results. If it feels out of control, disorganized, and chaotic, we are less likely to know where to focus first.

Open-plan environments are another physical factor that can dramatically impact our attention and productivity. Click To Tweet


Open-plan environments are popular and beneficial for teams with high collaboration, and allow a larger number of people in one space. Many successful organizations have moved to this model including Facebook, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, and eBay.

We need to understand open-plan environments create massive distractions for team members. Ultimately, it impacts productivity negatively because it forces employees to split their attention. People can hear each other’s phone calls. Sales, team morale, trust and privacy is impacted.

You can make open-plan work only with training, guidelines, and old-fashioned good manners and thoughtful team members.

Visit to download my free 10-Day Open Plan Productivity Action Plan and Open Plan Survival Tips and make the most of your working environment today.

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