Study after study has shown that workers hate open plan offices, due to the lack of privacy, noise pollution, visual pollution and constant distraction of people having informal meetings or yakking on their phones.

The truth is that workers--especially creatives--are more productive when they have private offices, either at a facility or remotely by working at home. To illustrate that, here are five successful startups that don't have open plan offices:

Founded: 2008

Environment: Private offices

Product: Online developer community

Quote: "The major benefit of the private office is that people can decide when they need to close their door and avoid interruptions. Open offices take that control away. Headphones help, but it's tough to avoid distractions. People come in at different times, take breaks at different times, need to socialize at different times, and have their most productive hours at different times. Management's job is to accommodate that and create a space where all those conflicting needs don't congeal into a persistent hum of distraction--not to enforce some top-down ideal of openness and creativity."

Founded: 2007

Product: Project management software

Environment: Private offices for programmers.

Quote: "It's not a status thing, it's because we want to get our developers into 'flow' state ― it's like writing a book, one interruption and all the great characters and plot twists in your head disappear, possible forever."

Founded: 2005

Product: Open source software (ex. Wordpress.com)

Environment: 100% remote

Quote: "It allows us to find talent wherever they live, and this can open a company up to a lot of possibilities. As most technology companies know, finding and hiring talent is one of the biggest problems they face. It also allows for a truly flexible work environment. We don't have set office hours because we have people working in all time zones. People can work the hours that work best for them."

Founded: 2011

Product: Software development

Environment: 100% remote

Quote: "We can hire better people. We believe in having happier team members by improving their lives. They can work from anywhere and spend more time with their loved ones. They are more productive and efficient that way. We can find talent anywhere and invite them to join our team. They can do the things that they love the most, arranging their schedules to fit their needs. People are happier because they get to spend more time with their families and don't have to spend time commuting to work."

Founded: 2011

Product: Billing software

Environment: 100% remote

Quote: "Not only does it make finding talent easier (covered in other sections), but having a remote team, across multiple time zones, allows us to provide better support. Being able to collaborate with team members from different geographical locations and cultures is something many of our employees tout as a benefit as well. Chargify employees enjoy what they do and the perks of working remotely is an important part of our culture and success."

Published on: Aug 17, 2017
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