Open floor plan offices are commonplace in the working world—70% of offices in the U.S. are open concept—and people tend to either love them or hate them. Wherever you stand on the matter, the fact is that the open office plan has some proven downsides when it comes to memory and productivity.
BBC's Capital recently discussed how open offices can be bad for us, noting that research has shown it causes workers to be 15% less productive. Four walls and a door provide focus, blocking out distractions and allowing us to give our full attention to the task at hand. Furthermore, open concept offices can negatively impact our memory, especially when workers practice "hotdesking"—sitting wherever they want at work and moving their equipment with them. According to environmental and design psychologist Sally Augustin, we retain more information when we stay in the same spot.
So what's the take away whether you work in an open concept office or not? You can use these lessons to follow a simple rule to boost both your productivity and memory at work: sit in the same place every day. This will boost your memory, leading you to be more efficient and productive. You can also commit to increasing your productivity by shutting out distractions—whether this means shutting your office door, escaping to a quiet room, or finding another area where your surroundings don't compete for your attention.
Head to the comments to share your thoughts on open concept offices.