The Open Plan Office Is Actually Making You Less Stressed

There are some advantages to the open seating arrangement.

CSA-Archive/Getty Images

By Monica Torres 

The downsides of the open plan office are well documented. When you can see and hear your coworkers from every angle, you get the unwanted gift of loud and distracting neighbors that make you less productive and more aware that you are being watched at all times.

But new research found that there are some advantages to this open seating arrangement: you can get more fit and less stressed.

Open plan offices are forcing us to be more active

According to a study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers from the University of Arizona tracked 231 employees in federal office buildings through stress and activity sensors they wore throughout the day.

The workers in the open seating arrangements were 32% more active at work than those in private offices and 20% more active than employees in traditional, high-partition cubicles. The higher physical level activity, in turn, corresponded to lower stress levels.

The open place office means you must get up and walk around to find coworkers and a place to sit and work. Employees who were forced to hustle around the office more to get to places said they were 14% less stressed outside of the office than employees who were less active.

“This is the first study to show that open bench seating may be an unrecognized positive factor in promoting physical activity levels at work,” the study concluded.

Each office arrangements comes with its own pros and cons. You can choose to be more and active and less stressed or feel more watched and more distracted. Choose wisely, space planners.

Sign up to receive daily news, inspiration, and advice on how to master work and life from Ladders

Originally published at www.theladders.com.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    5 Ways to Survive an Open Office Setup

    by Kara Goldin
    Image by Risner Photo.

    How to Boost Office Morale

    by Beverly Lim
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.