Here at OBEX, we point out the problems with open offices pretty frequently. But we actually do get what office space designers are trying to achieve. We think collaboration is great and that many workplaces could benefit from encouraging more of it. We just think there are ways to accomplish this objective without sacrificing privacy and noise control. For example, today’s web and mobile based collaboration applications can help bring employees together without forcing them into such close, unshielded proximity.
These days, many people really do feel connected as long as they can interact via social media. In the workplace, that can be a dedicated intranet platform like SharePoint. There are even project collaboration platforms designed for specific industries (for example, Atlassian’s Confluence is ideal for software development firms). When you take collaboration online, you get all the buzz with none of the noise. Even better, your employees can work together any time, in the office or on the go.