For the past several years, studies have debated the benefits and detriments of open offices as viable working spaces. One of the benefits touted by open plan proponents is the deterrence of employee misconduct, such as sexual harassment, that privacy often enables.
Even in an open office, however, the risk of sexual harassment persists, albeit in forms unique to the work environment. The absence of walls and barriers may even provide more, not less, opportunities for subtle forms of harassment. After all, open floor plans are specifically designed to facilitate close interaction among employees.