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How to Cope with Working in an Open-space Lab?

  • Marco Pautasso (a1) and Wopke Van Der Werf (a2)


Open-space labs and research environments are increasingly common worldwide. They are supposed to facilitate interactions among researchers, but can be disruptive to those who need to be in a quiet environment in order to concentrate. This problem is increasingly felt across the natural, medical and social sciences, has a clear interdisciplinary and cross-cultural relevance, but has been the focus of limited attention. We propose some simple suggestions for researchers struggling in an open-space lab, based on a literature review and our experience in open spaces in various labs and countries (Australia, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the USA) as undergrads, PhD students, postdocs, researchers and (W. van der Werf) professors. Our aim is to help researchers working in open-space offices and labs with some straightforward solutions that will make their lives and work easier.



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