In the CAT 2019 question paper, we were able to see many para summary related questions which were tricky. This is one of them which is based on 'Open-Plan Offices.' Try this question from CAT previous year paper to crunch your CAT preparation online.
The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Question 31 : Privacy-challenged office workers may find it hard to believe, but open-plan offices and cubicles were invented by architects and designers who thought that to break down the social walls that divide people, you had to break down the real walls, too. Modernist architects saw walls and rooms as downright fascist. The spaciousness and flexibility of an open plan would liberate homeowners and office dwellers from the confines of boxes. But companies took up their idea less out of a democratic ideology than a desire to pack in as many workers as they could. The typical open-plan office of the first half of the 20th century was a white-collar assembly line. Cubicles were interior designers’ attempt to put some soul back in.
The paragraph given explains that while open-plan offices were created with the idea of liberating workers, things did not work to plan, as companies used these spaces to cram in as many workers as they could, in a soul-less "white-collar assembly line".
Option 3 states that wall-free spaces 'could have worked out' had companies cared for workers' satisfaction. But the paragraph given merely talks of why the idea of wall-free office spaces failed: 3 is hence not a satisfactory summary of the paragraph.
Option 4 is incorrect as it goes too far. The paragraph says companies took up the idea of wall-free spaces less out of a democratic ideology than a desire to pack in workers. This does not imply that companies don't believe in democratic ideology.
Options 1 and 2 are close, but 2 is a better option than 1 as it brings in the points about the ‘utopian’ (idealistic) intentions of the inventors of wall-free offices and the way cramming of workers became a means of invading their privacy and exploiting them.
Choice B is the correct answer.
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