In this year's U.S. Open tennis tournament, both Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Open winner, and Nick Kyrgios, this year's second seed, were knocked out by Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova and Roger Federer, respectively.
It goes to show that sometimes open plans don't work out for even the most talented players.
The same can be said for open-plan offices, which are set up with low or no partitions. An estimated 70 percent of U.S. offices are now arranged this way.
Despite the fact that a new study from researchers at the University of Arizona found that open-plan workers are more physically active and consequently less physically and emotionally stressed than those in semi-private or private offices, not everyone agrees that this is the best way to set out an office space.
There's also research that says noise, lack of privacy, and crowding cause stress and reduce productivity.
And according to Harvard researchers, the open plan actually reduces face-to-face collaboration.
Most likely, the reactions to open plan offices depend on the work being done, the office setup, and individual preferences.
If you're irked by your open workspace, what can you do, besides closing off the outer world with headphones?
Talk to your boss about approaching the HR department and discussing new policies. Speakerphone calls have to be conducted in a conference room; no one can wear perfume or aftershave; food isn't eaten at desks (the smell of egg salad can be hard to take); personal calls can be made in established privacy zones.
And suggest a company-wide meeting to discuss these issues and find solutions. Plan on opening the lines of communication. Your health, productivity, and happiness deserve it.
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