iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Open Plan Offices

Listen now 18 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Open Plan Offices

Duration:
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)

Broadcasts

Podcast

  1. Image for The Why Factor

    The Why Factor

    Why do we do the things we do? Mike Williams searches for the extraordinary and hidden histories…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss