The task of complex design is aided by two things:
1. a environment where what is being worked on can be visualised and remains in view...
2. a environment that allows thought
Modern open plan, hot seating arrangement neither. One can only wonder at the inanity of management who expect efficiency in this environments for complex design.
About 20 year ago I read a book - called Peopleware - http://hotcashew.com/2014/02/lessons-peopleware/
During single-minded work time, people are ideally in a state that psychologists call flow . It is a condition of deep, nearly meditative involvement, a gentle sense of euphoria when one is largely unaware of the passage of time. For anyone involved in engineering, design, development, writing or similar tasks, flow is a must. These are high-momentum tasks that only go well when you’re in flow. Unfortunately, it can’t be turned on like a switch, it takes a slow descent into the subject, 15 minutes of more of concentration before the state is locked in. Each time you’re interrupted, you require an additional immersion period to get back into flow. During this immersion, you’re not really doing work.