As some employees relinquish their power and return to the office, a surprising pre-pandemic norm is making a comeback.
Those who are coming back into the workplace have expressed their desire to move away from the open office layout that took the real estate world by storm years ago.
Although this design waned in popularity even before the pandemic, the desire to stray away from these private-less spaces has grown.
According to research, open offices are linked to falling productivity due to noisiness and other distractions. In fact, these stressors can increase feelings of negativity by 25%.
The open office design was intended to encourage collaboration in the workplace, and while it certainly has its place, companies often took the trend too far. Now, employees want the last thing to be expected from a modern office: walls and cubicles.
But using such terms feels like a step back, which is why Kristi Buchler of Interior Architects says that using the phrase “seated privacy” differentiates from the offices of yesteryear.
“Think quiet cars on the train,” said Ebbie Wisecarver, global head of design at WeWork. “These areas of our spaces are purposefully sectioned off and act as more of a library setting.”