Don’t let open offices or ‘connectivity’ ruin your workplace

Provide the social benefits of a barrier-free space, but give employees plenty of privacy. Also, consider sending fewer messages.

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Open office and connectivity

You can thank medieval monks for your getting stuck in a cubicle.

More recently, you can also blame Frank Lloyd Wright and the SC Johnson Co.  for ushering in the era of the open office—which was hailed as the future of facilitating communication and collaboration and creating a more social environment.

Several studies have debunked many of those claims, however—and U.S. workers continue to hate the barrier-free trend.

Another modern corporate foible is the notion of boosting “connectivity” to improve workers’ productivity and communication. Cue the entrance of Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Workplace, Slack and a million other chat platforms. Now, on top of email, social media, texting and the intranet, staffers can chat about anything, at any time, with any colleague.

Unfortunately, these “productivity tools” are often undermining what they promise. Often, they only add a layer of stuff to monitor. Also, these platforms can become conduits for office bullying and gossip.

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