Why We Can't Get Anything Done in an Open-Plan Office

Photograph by xPacifica/Getty Images

Yesterday I got back from a vacation on which I broke my noise-cancelling headphones, snapping off one of the ear cups when I crammed them into my suitcase. I had originally bought the headphones for trips, for blocking out the roars of jet engines (which, apparently, are deadly), snoring neighbors, and the klaxon wails of babies reacting (in a way I myself would sometimes like to) to the traumatizing experience of modern air travel. But as I was reminded upon my return, what I really use the headphones for, what I need them for, is getting anything done at work.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.