An open bullpen office is a set up where employees work in an open floor with no offices or partitions separating them. This layout is common in traditional newsrooms and detective offices, though some public and government offices use it as well.
A primary benefit of an open bullpen is that employees have easy access to co-workers and work team members. In a newsroom, reporters don't have to leave their desks to ask questions or offer ideas to others. In an office where employees collaborate, efficiency is improved by removing walls and partitions. Some contemporary startup companies, such as Zappos, like the open office because it promotes a team-oriented culture. Tony Hsieh, the chief executive of Zappos, shares an open bullpen area with co-workers, according to a December 2013 article in "The New York Times."
The openness of a bullpen setup restricts privacy. Employees and customers can't share thoughts or information without others overhearing. Workers on deadline must also deal with noise and distractions, and it can be frustrating when co-workers constantly stop by or call over when you are working on an urgent project. The openness also makes it easy for germs to spread throughout the room when someone is sick.