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Open-plan offices
Interesting article about the cons of working in an open-plan office:

It echoed my experience of working in various open-plan offices. On the other hand, working in an open-plan office at the university has not been a problem.

I think my problems have primarily been because open-plan offices tends to contain people with different, conflicting work patterns. In particular, having software developers in the same environment as sales staff or admin staff is a recipe for missed deadlines - I find it difficult to concentrate on long-term problem-solving tasks with people engaged in sales calls or office gossip, or a radio playing a pop-music station in the background. The bustle of a busy office is greatly disturbing.

At the university all the people in the office are doing 'thinking' work of one sort or another, and the air of quiet concentration helps rather than hinders. Of course, our discussions and arguments are probably an impediment to others' work.

(Working from home today, sitting at the dining-room table with no disturbances other than Kate quietly playing a CSI game on the Wii.)