Thursday, April 30, 2009

Will an open plan office kill you?

Given all of the concern about swine flu and what not, I was interested to find one of my colleagues at QUT - Vinesh Oommen - contributed to the second most read article on the Fairfax Brisbane Times site today, about the perils of the open plan office.

Pity the poor battery hen, but what about battery people? When Dr Vinesh Oommen, a researcher from the Queensland University of Technology, published a study confirming long-held fears that open-plan offices were a health hazard, he did not expect a worldwide reaction.

Oommen's review of all literature on the subject found that open-plan offices, which put multiple workers together in the same space, caused high levels of stress and staff turnover, increased workplace conflicts and feelings of insecurity from lack of privacy, caused loss of concentration due to excessive noise, and increased the risk of high blood pressure and infectious diseases.

For the news article, read here (but there is something odd about the page layout on this site).

The original article can be found here.

For what can go wrong in an open plan office, see here:

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