There is a common misconception that open plan offices with clean and sterile desks mean that employees feel more compelled to work as they can see others around them doing the same.
However, in a television programme which aired yesterday evening on Channel 4, it was revealed that open plan offices can create unwanted activity in the brains of workers which prevent them from completing the task at hand.
The study in question was carried out by architecture critic and presenter Tom Dyckhoff and it involved him placing a cap which measured his brainwaves upon his head whilst he was working in an open plan office
What the results of the test revealed was that there were too many distractions in open plan offices. Dr Jack Lewis who conducted the brain wave tests said that open plan offices were initially designed so that employees could interact freely with one another to promote creative thinking and problem solving.
Some companies also refuse their staff the option of having personal decorations on their desks as again these are seen as distractions. However, Dr Craig Knight, a psychologist from Exeter University has said that employers who do allow staff to personalise their working area could be improving their office performance significantly.
He said “In the experiments we have run, employees respond better in spaces that have been enriched with pictures and plants. If they have been allowed to enrich the space themselves with their own things it can increase their well-being by 32% and their productivity by 15%.
“it is because they are able to engage with their surroundings, feel more comfortable and so concentrate.”
If you are an employer and feel as though your staff have been lacking motivation recently then please visit our fact-sheet on business coaching to find out how it may be able to help you and your colleagues.
View the original Telegraph article.