Grace Allen | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 8 August 2017

It\\\\\\\'s time to rethink open plan offices, people

Can't Concentrate At Work? It's Not You...It's Your Office

The Debrief: If you're getting easily distracted in your open plan office, know that you're not alone

Now, we've been over this before - how open plan offices are proving troublesome for workers - and a recent study by Haworths for Dezeen has added fuel to the fire. If you're currently sitting in a row of desks surrounded by your colleagues and struggling to tune out that annoying ringing phone (who are these people who downright refuse to give up until someone picks up) know that you're not alone. Gone are the glory days of cubicles - now there is little to no privacy in office spaces. 

Open Plan Offices, in a Nutshell

It was Robert Probst who invented the open plan office layout in the 1960s, and his intention was to liberate workers and improve their working lives. But the opposite seems to be true, with more people having to get to work early and leave late in order to accomplish what they need to.

One of the advantages of sitting amongst your coworkers is that it's supposed to encourage a sense of amicable collaboration, but conversely, it has been proven to do the opposite, according to research conducted by The Guardian; coworkers become more irritable and uncooperative instead.

Haworth's latest findings suggest that workers actually lose as much as 28 per cent of productive work time because of distractions and interruptions - not to mention all those tea rounds for your 12 desk mates.

WATCH: Relieving Sress With Maya Fiennes

Is there a Solution?

Working environments are becoming noticeably more fluid, with many companies embracing hot desking, allowing employees to work from home or creating 'focus zones' for better concentration. International coworking pioneers WeWork is set to expand over the next year, with hopes to double their presence in London, and Google has submitted plans to build headquarters longer than the Shard is tall, in Kings Cross next year. The office is set to include gyms, massage rooms, a swimming pool, a sports pitch and a rooftop garden (planted, apparently, with strawberries). 

But, non-Google workers, do not fear - there are things you can do to get more personal space, however basic your office is.

Like this? You might be interested in: 

How to Get Personal Space in an Open Plan Office Without Looking Like a Weirdo

Ask an Adult: Why Can't I Concentrate in an Open Plan Office?

Science Says Getting Distracted at Work Means You're More Intelligent

Follow Grace on Twitter @Graceallen100

Tags: Working Girls