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A Case Against Open Floor Offices

salmankazmi6 profile image Salman Kazmi ・2 min read

Alright, let me begin with my own experience with working on so-called team-building open floor offices that are the rage with IT companies these days. Honestly, the experience has been one on the downside and I personally prefer a place to work that is quiet and fosters imagination, creativity and the so-called Deep Work.

I, like many of you, work in the area of Software Development and quite frankly, it requires bouts of concentration and focus to get work done efficiently. I have worked in many different office spaces before and sadly most of the places had this open office floor trend. In general, I prefer to have no grudges with working in an open environment where one is easily reachable and communication flows freely, but especially for this one particular area which I discuss in this post, I strongly believe that the culture that open offices promote is not very conducive to effective work.

Effective Software Development, for once requires considerable amounts of focus and attention to detail to get the job done. WIth constant chatters, murmurs, and activity going in and around the office floor, the mind constantly is forced to get its attention diverted from the task at hand.

Our attention span is quite limited and the way we human beings are manufactured, we pretty much suck at multi-tasking. In order for us to concentrate fully on a given task, hands-on coding, for instance, we require constant undiverted attention.

I believe what we as programmers can achieve with constant focus and concentration in a given time far outweighs when the attention is diverted often. The mind consumes a lot of energy when it shifts attention from one task to another. So if we constantly try to focus on our work and there are distractions nearby, it fails to concentrate and is forced to multitask which in turn is very taxing in terms of energy consumption.

I strongly believe that open-floor offices with all their happenings, chit-chats and on-demand availability work culture is not at all helping in fostering growth and productivity.

No wonder we accomplish far more in the days we work from home or from a peaceful place like a library. The topic is debatable but I have my priorities sorted.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a productive week ahead!

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