11 reasons why mandatory open workspace environments suck

Open workspaces are far from civilized

Open workspaces are a reality these days.  While many a boss may tout, “Oh, this is so great.  It increases productivity and openness.”  Lies.

When faced with the reality of open workspaces, some workers find themselves longing for a comfort and semi-privacy that came from a cubicle. And an office with a door?  Dream on.  That is less and less common, especially with mid-level and lower employees.

What is happening more and more is flexible work environments where people either set their own hours or often or always having the option of working from home, but not all businesses are there yet.

Some people love working in coffee shops or community office spaces. They may thrive on having lots of people around at all times or may find a busy place more peaceful than being at home.

For some, the steady stimulation of the ambiance inspires creativity and can improve productivity.  The ambient din of strangers doesn’t seem to bother them at all.  You see in movies and television most junior stockbrokers are in a huge open space with noise rivaling a metal concert, and that’s what they signed up for, so good for them.

Surveys have been done that report that productivity levels are about the same with both, however, employee satisfaction is much lower with open workspaces.

When a workplace imposes this system on its staff, problems may be created because not everyone chose to partake in this open environment. Not every professional field is an open workspace appropriate situation and it can lead to problems with the workplace culture that the business may have wanted to avoid.

Here are 11 reasons why mandatory open workspace environments can suck.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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