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开放式办公室是否利于工作,学界目前尚未有定论

Grace Dobush 2018年09月12日

开放式办公室的概念仍然存在争议。

《职业与环境医学》(Occupational & Environmental Medicine)杂志本月发表的一项研究表明,较之格子间的员工,开放式办公室的员工压力程度较低,活跃程度较高,因为他们会更多地走动起来,与同事互动。

与此同时,以往的一些研究,例如哈佛大学(Harvard)的研究人员今年7月发表的文章,发现开放式办公室的员工与同事合作与互动的频率都小于格子间的员工。

尽管这些研究探讨的因素并不完全相同,但它们的结果似乎有所矛盾,表明在开放式办公室的问题上,科学尚未给出定论。

亚利桑那大学(University of Arizona)的OEM研究中,231名政府大楼里的办公人员在三天时间里佩戴了移动和心脏感应器。研究者发现,在活跃程度上,开放式办公室的员工比私人办公室的员工高出32%,比格子间的员工高出20%。

与此同时,哈佛大学的研究人员招募了52位来自《财富》500强的员工,拆掉了他们大楼里某一层的全部格子间,营造了开放的工作环境。在拆除格子间之前的三周和之后的三周,这些员工佩戴了带有感应器和麦克风的蓝牙配件。研究人员也获得了进入服务器,监控员工电子邮件和即时通讯活动的权限。

结果令人惊讶:在拆除格子间之后,受试者花在面对面互动上的时间减少了73%,而电子邮件和即时通讯工具的使用量分别飙升了67%和75%。

在20世纪60年代赫曼·米勒(Herman Miller)的格子间成为标配之前,美国曾经普遍采用开放式办公室。可以调整的隔间的诞生,让公司得以在不提高每个办公室空间成本和经济成本的情况下营造出更好的私人空间。不过从20世纪90年代开始,开放式办公室重新流行起来,如今美国估计有70%的办公室都有这种设计。支持者表示,开放式设计的采光条件更好,有利于增强员工的幸福感。

不过反对这种设计的也大有人在。

卡比尔·塞加尔在去年《财富》的一篇专栏文章中写道:“开放式办公室有着饶舌的同事和爱出故障的复印机,会阻碍你高质量地完成工作。”他的标题直奔主题:“是时候重新引进格子间了。”(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

A study published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine this month found that workers in open offices are less stressed and more active than cubicle workers, perhaps because they move around more to interact with colleagues.

At the same time, past research, like that published by Harvard researchers in July, has found that people who work in open offices are less likely than cubicle dwellers to collaborate or interact with their colleagues.

Though the studies didn’t examine the exact same factors, their outcomes seem to send mixed messages, proving—if nothing else—that science has yet to give us a clear-cut verdict on open office plans.

The OEM study by University of Arizona researchers is based on 231 office workers in government buildings who wore movement and heart sensors for three days. Those leading the study found that workers in open offices were 32% more active than people with private offices and 20% more active than cubicle dwellers.

The Harvard researchers, meanwhile, recruited 52 workers from a Fortune 500 company and stripped cubicles from an entire floor of their building to make the workspace open. The workers wore Bluetooth-enabled badges with sensors and microphones for three weeks ahead of the redesign and for three weeks in the new open plan. Researchers were also given access to servers to monitor email and instant message activity.

The results were astounding: After the switch, participants spent 73% less time interacting face to face, while use of email and instant messenger shot up by 67% and 75%, respectively.

The open office plan was common in the U.S. before Herman Miller’s cubicles became the standard in the 1960s. The advent of the convertible partitions offered more privacy without the spatial and financial expense of individual offices. But starting in the 1990s, the open office came back into fashion and now an estimated 70% of U.S. offices have such layouts. Proponents say open designs let in more natural light, which improves employee well-being.

But the design also has its detractors.

“Open plan office spaces, with gabbing colleagues and malfunctioning copy machines, can impede you from getting high-quality work done,” author Kabir Sehgal argued in a Fortune op-ed last year, titled, appropriately: “It’s Time to Bring Back the Office Cubicle.”

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