I think the primary challenge with open offices is that they make it really easy for teams to have an unproductive work code-of-conduct where people interrupt each other all the time. It seems less intrusive to ask your co-worker a question by drumming your fingers on his/her table, than to knock on a door before entering a private office.
The interesting questions is however, whether you can improve productivity without having to alter the physical design of your office. Can you implement a set of rules that are designed to mimic having small private offices?
Some things we have played around with: 1) You should only ask questions in Slack to ensure co-workers can put themselves in dnd mode and answer when they are available (virtual private office). 2) We give everyone a pair of Bose headphones to limit noise. 3) We put meetings in the morning and evening to avoid context switching.
A few years ago we worked a place where we even tried putting colored clothespins on the desk lambs. Green was “I’m free to talk”, Yellow was “Only if it’s super important”, an red was “Don’t even think about it”
Anyway, great post 👍