Open offices are undeniably trendy — they account for roughly three quarters of offices in the U.S. — but they just as undeniably make people miserable. Without cubicles and partitions, there's no privacy. Everyone's distracted by each other's chitchat or hiding in plain sight with giant headphones. (Are they even listening to music?) Sickness also spreads fast in the prairie-like expanse. It's unclear if open offices even do what their supporters claim they do: facilitate face-to-face conversation and collaboration. New research suggests they actually do the opposite.