Infographic: The pitfalls of an open office

Open offices may boost collaboration, but they can also reduce productivity. Did you know employees in open offices suffer from—excuse me a second—interruptions every three minutes?

When I was in elementary school, teachers would ask us to create “forts” on our desks before we took a test.

Creating a fort meant opening two folders and standing them up next to each other around the edge of your desk so the students around you couldn’t see your paper. Forts were meant to keep us focused on our work and discourage cheating.

Plus, to an elementary school kid, forts are cool.

As an adult, there are times when I wish I could turn my cubicle into a fort. When people around me are talking loudly or continuously stopping to chat when I have a lot of work to do, hiding in a fort is tempting.

According to an infographic from GetVoIP, many people in open offices probably feel the same way.

Ninety-five percent of employees say working privately is important to them, but about 70 percent of U.S. employees work in open offices.

The infographic reports that workers in open offices suffer from interruptions every three minutes, and 75 percent of those interruptions are unrelated to work. Employees end up spending 28 percent of their time handling interruptions and trying to get back on track.

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The infographic shares more facts about the perils of open offices and offers a few solutions. Check it out below:

(View a larger image.) ​

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