The raging open plan debate should not lead us to make bad choices

Action Office, one of the first systems aimed at more open plan and flexible office designThe debate about open plan versus enclosed offices rages on. But the real debate is not quite so binary, it’s not black or white, and it’s not a dichotomy as it is so often presented. Office occupants clearly have different workplace preferences from the wide range of design solutions that are now available. The alternative to the open plan is not necessarily the cellular office. So, we need to understand what drives individual preferences. Is it factors like personality, personalisation, flexibility, sense of belonging and familiarity that affect where people prefer to work? Or is there more to it?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed in a new report to be published in September. The study is a joint project between Herman Miller and Dr Nigel Oseland, environmental psychologist, workplace strategist and real-world researcher and the results will be announced in a spacial event at the Herman Miller London Showroom on 3rd September. The report is based on a specially tailored survey, and the outcomes will explore the links between personal (psychological and physiological) needs, role and activity, experiences and other demographics with attitudes towards open plan offices and agile working.


Tuesday 3rd September 2019. Please arrive at 12.15pm for a 12.30pm start.


Herman Miller Ltd. – National Design Centre, 61 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4AE. Click here for a map


To reserve a space for you and your colleagues, please register here

Image: Action Office (1964) by Herman Miller