If you want to get things done, then don’t work in an open plan office.
Most of us now work in teams [notes the New York Times], in offices without walls, for managers who prize “people skills” above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.
But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They’re not joiners by nature.
One explanation for these findings is that introverts are comfortable working alone — and solitude is a catalyst to innovation…
SOME teamwork is fine and offers a fun, stimulating, useful way to exchange ideas, manage information and build trust.
But it’s one thing to associate with a group in which each member works autonomously on his piece of the puzzle; it’s another to be corralled into endless meetings or conference calls conducted in offices that afford no respite from the noise and gaze of co-workers. Studies show that open-plan offices make workers hostile, insecure and distracted. They’re also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, stress, the flu and exhaustion. And people whose work is interrupted make 50 percent more mistakes and take twice as long to finish it. ….
[Creative people] many of whom are introverts, are unhappy…. Privacy also makes us productive… Solitude can even help us learn…
Conversely, brainstorming sessions are one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity… decades of research show that individuals almost always perform better than groups in both quality and quantity, and group performance gets worse as group size increases.