What I don't get about this open office debate is: why is it wrong when there is less face to face talk, and more email/chat/etc?
You may think face to face is more efficient, but it isn't. Someone has to take good notes, summary, etc. With mail? You have it with no extra effort.
Recording meetings one way or another is super important.
I find it highly useful to do certain kinds of high-bandwidth communication in person, possibly in front of a whiteboard. Doing those over text online is often frustrating and error prone.
Example: "I have an idea" followed by lots of handwaving and brainstorming and much discussion. End result might be something completely different from the starting point.
That kind of thing rarely happens in open plan offices, though.
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