Methodological considerations in the open-plan office paradox: A systematic literature review

24 page Publication by Will M. Bennis, Manuel Mayerhoffer & Marko Orel , , ,
| Disclipline

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Abstract in English:

BACKGROUND: Several recent reports conclude that open-plan offices negatively impact workers across a variety of
outcome measures. This contrasts to a corporate trend to move from cellular to open-plan layouts, often justified by the same
outcomes. Two explanations for this paradox are proposed: (1) the results are more complicated than critical reports suggest,
and (2) methodological biases make open-plan layouts look more negative than they are.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the proposed explanations using a systematic literature review.
METHODS: Google Scholar was used to find original research on the relationship between office openness and worker
outcomes. 89 articles were coded for the variables and methods they used, and conclusions about the relationship between
layout and outcomes were evaluated.
RESULTS: The proposed explanations were partly supported. The relationship between layout openness and worker outcomes
depends on the variables considered and the methods used, and a small subset of methods was used far more often
than others. That said, more research is needed to evaluate impact of open-plan offices on worker outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between office openness and worker outcomes varies widely depending on how it is
measured. Several promising areas for future research may help clarify this relationship.

Open Access? No

Journal Work
Publication Year 2022
Volume 73

DOI 10.3233/WOR-210820

English | Discipline Psychology