Why Everyone Hates Open Office

Will it Finally Go Away with COVID 19?


open office space in minneapolis


The open office concept has been around for years and has been the trend in the Minneapolis office space market. Building owners, employers, and brokers have pitched this as a great option to establish a collaborative working environment. It is also a way for businesses to save cost by reducing the square footage dedicated to each employee. In theory, it looks like a solution that will benefit everyone. So why do so many employees hate this setup? It is because the design is built on the notion that it is to help employees, but in reality, it is just a cheaper option for businesses to develop.


Too Noisy

One of the biggest complaints of the open office concept is how noisy it can be. If someone is trying to focus while other coworkers are talking about their day, it can be quite distracting and frustrating. Most of the time, when employees are trying to work, they would prefer a quieter area so they can concentrate. There was a 2018 study done that shows 65 percent of creative people needed quiet spaces to do their best work. Open offices cannot provide them that need.


Lack of Privacy

Nobody likes to be in the middle of a crowd and be continuously seen all day, every day. Though being at work, employees should not expect total privacy or freedom, they still should be able to get at least some level of it. In an open office space, every move they make can be seen by someone else, which can increase anxiety and minimize productivity.


Frequent Interruptions

One of the main selling points for an open space layout was to increase communication amongst the employees. With coworkers sitting next to each other, it enables teams to communicate continuously. In many cases, this has theory has backfired and caused interruption of work to talk about non-work-related topics. Furthermore, once that particular conversation is done, it could take that employee some time again to get back into their rhythm, just to get interrupted again.


It Can Actually Lower Productive Communication

Have you walked into an open office space environment and seen everyone with headphones one? And no one communicating? When people feel like they are being watched all day long, it may deter them from collaborating with their coworkers in fear of being seen as “not working” or not being focused on what they were tasked to do.



In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the open office space environment in facing new challenges. As work commences again, people might not want to share space as much for fear related to the virus and the perceived need to “socially distance” themselves.



While some companies will continue with an open space layout, we think they are going to be the in minority. We believe the future trend in businesses looking for Minneapolis office space for lease or Minneapolis office space for sale will see companies opting instead for private offices, virtual meeting space/hoteling, or private work pods. If you are an office tenant designing trying to design your future space, you can still be conscious of the budget while developing a work environment that your employees will enjoy. This should result in better productivity, give you a leg up in talent acquisition, and lower overall turnover rates.


Learn More About Office Space in: