Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has investigated the difference between open-space office and closed-space office regarding the effects on productivity.
If work requires hard thinking and concentration, open-space office may cause 5-10% decrease in productivity. Did this surprise anyone? And I think those numbers are low.
I’ve had first-hand experience of this problem. People tend to come to work later in the afternoon to work in a quiet office. In my workplace we are expanding our offices to get more space for everyone and I think it’s been a huge improvement.