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Open Plan Offices

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 15 February 2013

Millions of us work in open plan offices, whether in modern, efficient buildings with the latest technology and design, or in more traditional set-ups with rows and rows of desks. Mike Williams asks why the open plan office has become the norm in many places, and whether they are as good for the workers, as for the bosses’ bottom lines.

Open plan offices have many advantages: a higher density of people means big savings in real estate costs. They also make it easier to communicate, help or seek help from co-workers. They even make your boss seem more accessible. But the downsides are considerable. People find they get distracted by co-workers’ phone calls and conversations and scientists report that this impacts on your concentration and productivity.

(Photo: Image of workers in an open plan office. Credit: BBC)



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