Open offices are overrated

Open offices are overrated

If you work in an office, there’s a good chance it’s an open one. How did we get here? And why is it so bad?

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Open offices have been around a surprisingly long time. But they’re relatively misunderstood for their role in workplace culture. Where did open offices and cubicles come from, and are they really what we want?

This episode of Overrated explores the history, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Herman Miller, and other key figures in the office design movement. Our workplaces haven’t always been this way — this is how we got here. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

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20 Responses

  1. samurai331 says:

    Did you say dog vacation website? What the f?

  2. Johnny Horstman says:

    How do you account for the needs of introverts in an open office space?

  3. corgidog says:

    I like organization, open offices are not organised.

  4. Ded Hampster says:

    Open offices work when the people in the open space have similar or identical jobs and are limited to a small number of individuals. For example, a specialized call center team or a fast paced accounting group. I could see this work for a PR team keeping up with news and social media feeds. It does not work for a large scale call center or large business departments.

  5. Milance Ac Milan says:

    Black people’s inteligent’s is overrated. They are uber stupid.

  6. incrediblemachine10 says:

    Honestly any good designer will tell you we always want to design something that will function well for the end user but all to often we are sidelined by the client wanting to cut costs or add in functions that were never discussed. Don’t blame the designer blame the client.

  7. Kim T says:

    Google’s own research showed that open offices increase collaboration (so people don’t get stuck on a problem by themselves) and transparency (people can’t hide away). If you are arrogant enough to believe only you can do your job, in your own private space, then you probably shouldn’t work in an office. Any barrier (including stairs) reduces interactions and results in people more likely to continue on work with getting input from others…

  8. Spicy Spud says:

    This is just liberal propaganda

  9. k14pc says:

    this guy’s pretty good.

  10. Sbiaw says:

    Working for 3 days wont make you rich

  11. Matthew Williams says:

    This is do shallow on related facts and data. It only glosses over studies about office space.

  12. LocumRex says:

    My cubicle is made of asbestos, lead, mercury and cadmium alloy and I’m just fine.
    (dear god someone save me)

  13. gary oak says:

    Its the people we have now a days that are more of the problem than the actual offices

  14. Zach Watson says:

    Why did you call steel a “new material”…

  15. Ian Drsaurri says:

    I remember seeing in the behind the scenes of God of War 2, them specifically mentioning open offices and how much it helped them collaborate.

  16. teknowafel sam says:

    His headphones are the sony mdr-7506 the ones on his desk. I’m gonna get either those or the ath-m40xs

  17. Noah Cousino says:

    Ugh, you also failed to mention that the office complex Frank Lloyd Wright designed was TERRIBLY constructed. The office flooded every time it rained (the executive offices constantly had buckets on their floors to collect leaking rain water), and the ridiculously high ceilings carried every bit of noise. Because of this an many other factors, they decided to leave the office complex and build a new one….Frank Loyd Wright knows how to design a house or two, I’ll give him that, but office buildings and theaters (look up the Kalita Humphrey’s Theater), not so much.

  18. User says:

    YES, YES, YES. Finally. I agree with this video completely. I much prefer a nice cubicle or even better my own small office room to these hip, trendy open space offices. They’re just a scheme to pack in as many people into a tight, uncomfortable space as possible. They are entirely economical, not cultural.

  19. Alex Hahn says:

    Anyone else spot the scout uniform at 1:08

  20. Lora Liche says:

    I beg for a cubicke try answering the phine taking detailed info in a huge noisey refrigerated stadium like box ugh !!!!!

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