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Surprising results from a study on open workspaces

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Fewer cubicles foster more face-to-face interaction between coworkers, right? That’s the thinking behind the trend toward open workspaces, anyway.

A new study, however, throws that idea for a loop. Researchers discovered that removing spatial boundaries significantly decreased live communication.

According to the Royal Society-published study, “In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from coworkers and interact over email and IM.”

Researchers found humans’ desire for privacy plays a big role in productivity, and multiple digital age factors drive how we communicate.

– Dan Stefano, The Pittsburgh 100

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