If office noise is such a problem, why don’t noisy coffee shops, airports, or co-working spaces bother us?
"The problem may be that, in our offices, we can’t stop ourselves from getting drawn into others’ conversations or from being interrupted while we’re trying to focus. Indeed, the EEG researchers found that face-to-face interactions, conversations, and other disruptions negatively affect the creative process."
This HBR article suggests the problem with noisy offices is more a matter of who's making the noise than how loud it is. Recent brain science suggests just the right amount of noise (i.e. coffee shop level) may enhance creativity.
"This project is about a legacy, timeless design, and the belief that the design of a headquarters can shape a company’s trajectory and inspire generations of future workers and leaders for years to come."
Not open plan. Not particularly flexible. Certainly not an off-the-shelf solution. But in terms of what it was built to do, inspire, it certainly does.
Want great performance from knowledge workers? Asking them to do their best is the biggest motivator.
"If you want to motivate employees, stop following your instincts and adopt a data-driven approach."
The advice here isn't new, but given that 85% of Fortune 1000 companies surveyed admit employee motivation drops sharply after 6 months on the job, it's worth revisiting what science knows about the best way to manage people.