I find it highly useful to do certain kinds of high-bandwidth communication in person, possibly in front of a whiteboard. Doing those over text online is often frustrating and error prone.
Example: "I have an idea" followed by lots of handwaving and brainstorming and much discussion. End result might be something completely different from the starting point.
That kind of thing rarely happens in open plan offices, though.
@joeyh Good question, why not?
If you don't trust your engineers enough to let them work from home, that's a problem.
(FTR, my part-time job I do from home, and am much more productive in that case.)
worth noting that these issues with open-plan offices were known as far back as 1997, well before the current fad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peopleware:_Productive_Projects_and_Teams from 1987 discusses these things, too.