How Open Should We Be?

People seem to either love or hate the open office concept. Once hailed as a sign of modern hipness, it's now sometimes called intrusive and non-conducive to productive work. It seems that instead of maximizing collaboration, the open office sometimes just provides interruptions and distractions. At least that's what Jason Feifer thinks, in his article Offices for All! Why Open-Office Layouts are Bad for Employees, Bosses, and Productivity

I've worked in both, and though there's a lot to be said for being able to close your door and just think, our company is small enough and our roles so overlapping that we have almost constant interaction with one another. (When we do need to concentrate, we all own headphones.) If we need to work intensely together on a project, the two or three principals will schedule time in the conference room. And finally, I've been known to institute the morning/lunch/afternoon rule: I set aside specific time to meet with people, so that interrruptions during the rest of the day are kept to a minimum. It all works - and Boots Roadies enjoy an energetic collaborative setting that feeds our creativity.