Open office plans are snake oil bullshut

“When he [Srouji] was shown the floor plans, he was more or less just ‘F— that, f— you, f— this, this is bulls—.’ And they built his team their own building, off to the side on the campus …” Neowin: John Gruber: Apple employees rebelling against Apple Park’s open floor plan | Via Slashdot

Open floor plan offices reduce productivity. They don’t actually save you any money. Your employees hate working in them. Given these facts, why then do 70% of American businesses use open floor plan offices?

Part of the issue might be that they’ve all fallen for a scam, but are now in too deep to admit their mistake without looking like fools. (Avoiding the appearance of foolishness is second only to personal financial gain as a motivating factor for business people.)

But I’m beginning to suspect there’s something else at play. I think the means and ends of certain business practices have gotten mixed up in the minds of corporate culture, and those of us on the outside haven’t noticed. See, we’re used to the idea that executives and business owners are willing to do anything to enrich themselves, even if makes their employees miserable. But I think that this has been going on so long that those execs and owners have started to believe that employee misery in-and-of-itself actually generates financial rewards, regardless of the actual mechanics that cause that misery.

We’ll see, in time, if I am right.

“Um, there’s a skunk loose in the office.”

“Good, good, as long as the employees are unhappy, we’ll remain millionaires.”

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Open office plans are snake oil bullshut

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