Why employees in open plan offices are less sociable

Researchers at Harvard University have found that, rather than prompting face-to-face collaboration, open plan architecture appears to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM. The field studies of two corporate headquarters transitioning to more open office spaces are the first to empirically measure both face-to-face and electronic interaction before and after the adoption of open office architecture. They discovered that the open plan offices decreased face-to-face interaction among employees by 70 percent.