Shared work spaces bad for employees' concentration, stress levels: report

Employees who work in open-plan, shared work spaces have more problems with fatigue, loss of concentration, stress, and headaches, television program De Monitor reports after speaking to 90 members of the Dutch association for occupational medicine and physicians NVAB.

80 percent of the NVAB members told De Monitor that sick leave would decrease if people worked with fewer colleagues in a room, NOS reports. Almost 60 percent said that shared work spaces should be abolished.

Over 90 percent of the interviewed occupational physicians said that employees who report to them mention shared workspaces as one of the causes for absenteeism. Noise and loss of concentration are the main complaints About 80 percent of doctors hear that workers experience more stress in an open office. 60 percent reported headaches. Over a third reported speaking with workers who suffered from burnout.

"There is a lot of political attention for 'repairing' and 'insuring' damage to health in relation to work," NVAB said. We lack attention for real prevention policy, such as the healthy design of workplaces."