A bunch of startups didn't have money to create usable facilities, and they were often hiring students who didn't know better (about what private space was) and worked out of coffee shops, so they created "Open Offices".
Planners who failed at life decided that if Google/Facebook/etc. succeeded in spite of a horrendously distracted working environment, then everyone should suffer -- and Corporate America (especially Tech) started shifting to Open Office Floorplans; to the annoyance of tech workers everywhere. This was sold as "more collaborative", but there's no worker with a triple digit IQ that actually buys that, and there have been multiple studies that bear out the skepticism: workers get more quiet to keep from disturbing others (and hide away in meeting rooms or with headphones to create faux privacy). But the one-size-fits-all is attractive to the small-of-mind, paired up with the financial folks that could increase population density, without fixing facilities for parking, loading/unloading or eating. And the results have been productivity killing, increased employee friction, increased illness/sick-time, less face-to-face interaction, and more start working from home or as remote as can get away with. This will go down as proof that companies that ignore management fads operate much better than those that follow them.
- Panopticon: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/our-open-plan-office-failed-so-were-moving-to-a-towering-panopticon
- Study: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2017.0239#d3e1265
- Passive-Aggressive response to Open Offices? https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/486161/i-stopped-showering/