Last Friday Claudia Hammond presented her Radio 4 programme on The Search for the Perfect Office. It’s such a big subject and I was surprised to not find any on-line discussion on the programme. So I will attempt to start a debate here.
Like my previous blog on lawyer’s offices the programme soon focussed in on the open plan versus private office debate. On first listening I went away thinking that the programme was heavily biased against the open plan office. It started by suggesting that whilst open plan offices are cheaper they are a false economy as they do not support our work activities. I went away with the impression that only half of the research (that against open plan) was presented. The architects received a severe bashing for ignoring the research on noise distraction and designing buildings with their favourite materials, steel and glass, that reflect rather than absorb sounds. But a second listening revealed some well-balanced points hidden amongst the upbeat fluff typical of presenters following Radio 4s Woman’s Hour.