Open plan design is everywhere. But why? Office surveys say that most workers find the layout noisy and disruptive, preventing them doing their job properly. Julian Treasure explores the extent of the problem and how unwanted noise affects our productivity, health and well-being.
How did open plan evolve from the factory floor and cubicles of the past? Does the blame rest with the economics of property development and current trends in architecture?
There are pros - the collaborative aspects, for example - but how can we resolve the cons and create better offices of the future?