Open-plan offices may be bad for your health, according to new research.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans work in open-plan offices, according to the International Facility Management Association.

People who work in open-plan offices are more likely to get sick, are less productive, and take more days off work.

The study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, found that people who work in open-plan offices take 62 percent more sick days than people who work in their own enclosed offices.

The authors of the study blame open-plan offices for more easily spreading germs. The researchers also suggest that the additional stress of working in a communal space lowers peoples' immune response, making them more susceptible to sickness.

But other factors may also contribute to the negative effects of open-plan offices.

People who work in open-plan offices are less productive, according to research performed at Virginia State University and North Carolina State University.

Employees in such environments are less motivated, and less satisfied with their jobs because they perceive themselves as having insufficient privacy.

Sounds in the surrounding environment also distract employees in open-plan offices, contributing to their lower productivity, the researchers say.

A study by Hong Kong Polytechnic University discovered similar findings.

The study questioned 259 office workers, and asked which aspects of their environment contributed most to their productivity.

Noise and temperature were the most commonly cited problems. The most irritating noises were conversations and ringing phones and machines.

People over 45 were most likely to be distracted by noises, the study found.

Bad office conditions cost employers two and a half days per year, according to another study examining the effect of office comfort levels on productivity.

The survey of 7,000 Dutch employees found that people took two addition days off of work, citing uncomfortable office conditions-- the most common problem being temperature-- as the reason. The study's author estimates that quality improvements in office conditions can improve worker productivity by as much as between five and 15 percent.