An office of your own is the healthy way to work

SYDNEY - People who have a nice office to go to tend to like going to work, whereas those condemned to rubbing shoulders with lots of colleagues in an open-plan workplace are often less eager to get to their desks.

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By (DPA)

Published: Mon 19 Jan 2009, 10:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:40 AM

Australian researchers think they know why: working in an open- plan format is much more stressful than having four walls around you.

“The evidence we found was absolutely shocking,” Queensland University researcher Vinesh Oommen said after studying a raft of papers on the subject.

“In 90 per cent of the research, the outcome of working in an open-plan office was seen as negative, with open-plan offices causing high levels of stress, conflict, high blood pressure, and a high staff turnover,” he said.

It seems that the bedlam of jangling telephones and bleeping computers is to blame - along with the loss of privacy and the added opportunity for clashing with colleagues.

“The research found that the traditional design was better - small, private closed offices,” Dr Oommen said. “The problem is that employers are always looking for ways to cut costs, and using open- plan designs can save 20 per cent on construction.”

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