Over at Inc. Magazine, StrongProject’s CEO Jeff Pochepan examines how offices—from startups to corporations to coworking models—are all suffering from the same privacy crisis. The culprit? Open office design. Read the excerpt below and check out the full article here.
The appeal of an open office design originally seemed harmless. Imagine: open offices with lines of clean and minimalist modular workstations with modest privacy shields, pop-up and convertible collaboration spaces, library carrel-style break pods, video conferencing areas, and—why not?—bleacher seating on one wall for those culture-building pep talks. The open office plan was supposed to be less expensive and conducive to building a lighter, happier, tighter company culture. But now it’s backfiring.
Across the country, we’re now seeing what can be categorized as a “privacy crisis” among workers. The office, once a place where your cubicle seemed semi-shielded and dedicated to your needs, a place where you could even hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign with a pushpin or at least signal that you being at your desk meant head-down work time, has morphed into something resembling a hot-desk buffet, where first dibs determine whether you’ll secure a relatively quiet work space or be resigned to another morning of wearing Bose headphones just to get a few tasks accomplished. When privacy suffers, the rate of productivity quickly goes downhill.