Give Your Inner Misanthrope a Hug

Turns out that he is right, and that one of the biggest management fads in recent years is, unsurprisingly, completely idiotic:
Large open-plan offices do not improve staff communication, morale or productivity, a study has found. 
Such offices have become common because of the economic benefits – more workers can be fitted into a smaller space – and because they are widely believed to encourage communication and camaraderie. 
But after carrying out a study of 42,000 US office workers in 303 buildings the researchers concluded that open-plan layouts are disruptive due to ‘uncontrollable noise and loss of privacy’ and were ‘clearly outperformed’ by enclosed private offices.

The team, from Sydney University, said the idea that ‘open-plan improves morale and productivity appears to have no basis in the research literature’, and their results showed that such offices did not ‘enhance communication between colleagues’ either. 
'Our results categorically contradict the industry-accepted wisdom that open-plan layout enhances communication between colleagues and improves occupants' overall work environmental satisfaction,' the team concluded.
And this is news?

I work in an environment that is heavy on cubicles. We have offices everywhere now that all of our VPs have had to move into cubicles; the idea is that managers will be more effective at overseeing their people. In practice all this means is that the lazy and insipid get more face time with their bosses, while the productive and hard-working now have to deal with people constantly looking over their shoulder at what they're doing.

I personally have never understood this bizarre American obsession with "collaboration" and "teamwork". I have always found that if I am left alone to solve a problem, I figure it out about 10 times faster than by having an endless series of meetings and face-to-face discussions about things. I find that simply leaving people alone to figure things out on their own, and guiding them when they go astray, is a vastly more sensible approach to managing people and projects than any amount of agoraphobia-inducing "collaboration" ever will be.

Then again, I am very much a misanthrope. I dislike being around other people, and most people probably unconsciously feel the same about me- they just don't know why. I suppose there are some folks who thrive in open-plan environments- the kind that make me want to run screaming for the nearest cliff edge.


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