Organization and leadership

Are we suffering from a constant noise at the office?

Increased noise and distractions are constantly recurring in discussions about open plan offices (Hedge 1982, p 519, 538; Sundstrom, Town, Rice, Osborn & Brill, 1994, p 196-197). The constant noise can also mean information overload (Glauser, 1984) where individuals are not able to process all they are exposed to, while he or she becomes receptive to information that is not relevant. However, we might ask the question,if the interference is actually induced by norm more than actual, a relic of the idea that the office is private and quiet. A recent study by researchers Kaeser, Fischbacher and König (2013) showed that interference-free time span in the workplace did not give an overall better performance among employees than if they continually were susceptible to colleagues. This should bring about two questions, one concerning that if the performance does not seem to suffer, is there still a problem for the organization if employees feel it is an issue, and secondly, is it really the communication that irritates employees or may there be other factors responsible?



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