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6583308 - co-workers talking in office cubicleOpen-office spaces have become synonymous with trendy start-ups, but are they all glitter and not gold? Some research might influence your opinion. For example, the results of a 2013 Harvard Business Review study underlined that employees in open-office formats experience distractions that can impact productivity and performance. Think factors like lack of sound privacy and visual privacy.

At the end of the day, an open-office set-up is counterproductive. Generally speaking, this format cancels out the effects of team building and weakens work performance. While employees might find this approach refreshing at first, ultimately, they lose out in terms of attention spans, productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. Health even enters into the equation, as germs are spread more easily in tighter quarters. Yuck!

Despite these conclusions, why do employers continue to buy into the mystique of open-office formats? Such a layout is conducive to maximizing a company’s space while keeping costs down. Some managers also appreciate the opportunity to monitor employee activity closer.

While these concerns are valid, the cons outweigh the pros. If you are considering switching things up at the office, you might want to re-think your approach. Factors like the color of walls and on-the-job perks might be more effective in motivating your team.