A method of laying out an office whereby a large number of staff work in the same room without cubicles, instead of each staff member having their own office or cube.

Although this may lead to a very noisy office, it is said by some to increase productivity because quick bursts of communication between staff members is easier to carry out. Everyone can see if you're not doing work so, in theory, you're more inclined to get on with the job. It also gives a more friendly and spontaneous atmosphere to the work environment.

Open-plan offices have become more popular recently, especially in the tech industry where open communication and creativity are well known to increase productivity. Whether they'll stick around as a viable method of working is yet to be seen.

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