A study conducted by Dr. Jack Lewis, a British neuroscientist, found that workers that worked in an open concept office environment were 15% less productive than workers who had semi private or private office space. The test was conducted by placing caps on workers to track and measure disruptions in brain waves.
Why did productivity decrease? Noise pollution and lack of privacy were the two main causes for the low productivity. Dr. Lewis stated “If you are just getting into some work and a phone goes off in the background it ruins what you are concentrating on.” With no doors and wall dividers, sound can echo in a large room causing constant interruptions for the worker. Also lack of privacy, had many workers feeling as though big brother was watching them. The feeling of insecurity and constantly being on guard contributed to high stress and less productivity.
If you have an open concept office, do not worry. You do not have to invest in building walls and more offices. There is an inexpensive solution available to resolve these two issues. We would recommend investing in either tall bookcases or filing cabinets to help create a wall divider. The bookcase and/or filing cabinet will not only provide additional office storage space, but also serve as a much needed privacy barrier between workers. The bookcases will also cut down on sound volume. With this relatively affordable quick fix, your workers will be much happier and ultimately more productive.