Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington under nine presidents and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 14, 2009


Fox News - Open office plans are harmful to the health of employees, Australian scientists have found. Researchers reviewed a global pool of research into the effect of this modern office design, concluding it has led to lower productivity and higher worker stress, according to a report in the Australian Associated Press.

"The evidence we found was absolutely shocking,'' researcher Dr. Vinesh Oommen, of the Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, told the AAP.

"In 90 percent of the research, the outcome of working in an open-plan office was seen as negative, with open-plan offices causing high levels of stress, conflict, high blood pressure, and a high staff turnover."

Researchers also found that the high level of noise causes employees to lose concentration, leading to low productivity.

"There are privacy issues because everyone can see what you are doing on the computer or hear what you are saying on the phone, and there is a feeling of insecurity,'' Oommen added. The study will be published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Health Management.


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