News Analysis

Open Offices Engender Collaborative, Transparent Workplaces

Open workspace designs have clear environmental benefits stemming from easier access to daylighting and more efficient use of space. A survey of more than 200 organizations recently conducted by financial services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and Ethisphere Institute, a business ethics think tank, found that open workspaces are increasingly common: 60% of companies surveyed reported maintaining open offices. Of those companies, 74% do so for 80% of employees, and 38% have transitioned to open offices in the last five years. The survey also revealed the perception that open offices reduce ethics violations, with 60% of respondents reporting that they believe open workspaces encourage ethical workplace behavior. In the survey, 64% of companies with open offices reported no visible ethics violations in the last two years.

Employees, especially managers, often express concerns about the potential interruptions and lack of privacy that can accompany open workspaces. However, Patricia Roberts, executive vice president of strategic consulting at JLL, told

Published October 5, 2011