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Why the best offices are like jails


If you think your work environment resembles a prison, you may be more on queue with something than you think. Research shows that having an open-office environment similar to prisons increases harmony and productivity. Find out why it’s best that you camp out at work similarly to the way you would if confined within prison walls.

Workplace jail

Photo credit: mediaphotos / Istock / 360 / Getty images

Teamwork and collaboration

It is best that people work well together in both an office and jail setting. With that being said, having an open-concept seating allows for better flow of communication and collaboration in both locations. Since most companies thrive on teamwork, it is important that their employees get along in small groups. Sitting in close proximity in numbers of 4-8, office workers are more likely to get along better and have a strong sense of community and bond with each other. This is similar in a jail, where prisoners must live and work together for long periods of time.

Social harmony

In both the work and jail settings, much research has taken place with regard to how humans communicate with each other. It has been found that the optimal time for social harmony is in these small groups of four to eight. As stated in the video, fewer than four would cause a strong personality to take control over the group, whereas over eight would cause a leader to arise. Both companies and jails would prefer that their staff/prisoners get along to provide for a better social structure. The small-group setting allows for an equal-opportunity group setting and one without any type of leader influence. Companies are more likely to get equalized and quality results, while jails are more likely to keep peace in their environments.

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