Noise and privacy concerns plague poorly designed open offices. It can be too loud and busy to concentrate on heads down work, or there might not be any place to have a conversation without broadcasting it to the entire staff.
Of course, that is the extreme (and hopefully hypothetical) case. But even in better designed open offices, the same issues can crop up. The key, say experts, is to anticipate the performance demands of the space and implement solutions during the design phase, not as bandaids applied after occupancy. This article walks through some of the acoustics concerns to keep in mind in open office spaces.
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