Maria Konnikova on open offices:

What’s more, Evans and Johnson discovered that people in noisy environments made fewer ergonomic adjustments than they would in private, causing increased physical strain. The subjects subsequently attempted to solve fewer puzzles than they had after working in a quiet environment; in other words, they became less motivated and less creative.

She also notes that research shows headphones having no effect in counteracting this. The only thing that helps is a strong ability to block out distractions.

Which is likely why I am fine with these environments — I just forget about everything around.

Posted by Ben Brooks