To Work, Open Offices Need To Be A Little Less Open

Giving employees control over their space helps them work better. The open office has been around for decades. In fact, the cubicle was designed in the 1960s by the American inventor Robert Propst, who was attempting to solve many of the privacy issues that arose from open offices back then. But Propst's design backfired as, by the 1990s, "the flimsy walls of the cubicle began to symbolize not independence and flexibility, as Propst had hoped, but transience, precariousness and the disposability of the American worker," according to Nikal Saval, who wrote a book on the history of the office space.