Blame your open-plan office for impairing concentration at work

London: Can’t focus at your work in office? Well, then blame your office infrastructure for the distraction.

A study has shown that working in an open-plan office is bad for the brain.

Researchers found that the constant noise and lack of privacy disrupted brain activity and impaired concentration.

A sterile office, where workers are banned from personalising their desks, also reduced productivity by 15 per cent because staff felt less comfortable in their surroundings.

Open-plan offices were introduced in the 1950s to improve communication between colleagues.

But scientists have now claimed they may be doing more harm than good.

“Open-plan offices were designed with the idea that people can move around and interact freely to promote creative thinking and better problem solving,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Jack Lewis, a neuroscientist who carried out the test, as saying.

“But it doesn’t work like that. If you are just getting into some work and a phone goes off in the background it ruins what you are concentrating on.

“Even though you are not aware at the time, the brain responds to distractions,” added Lewis.

The findings were revealed in The Secret Life of Buildings, a Channel 4 show.


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