Open-plan office occupants may experience a lack of both visual and acoustic privacy, in addition to an increase in the amount of unwanted distractions and interruptions. However, it is believed that access to a window, with enough daylight and an outside view is, in fact, beneficial to occupants and that it affects their satisfaction with their workspace. This study compared two companies in the same office building. As part of this research, the impact of employee proximity to an external window and workstation partition height on three environmental quality measures (planning, privacy, and lighting) was investigated. The results indicated that proximity to a window affected employee satisfaction, somehow buffering or compensating for the negative aspects of open-plan offices. In addition, when coupled with workstation partition height, satisfaction was even more affected, with employees whose workstations contained a window and a 1.40 m high partition being the most satisfied with their space, presumably because they were happy to have partitions giving them a higher level of visual and acoustical privacy, while also minimizing distractions and interruptions. It was also found that males responded more positively to open-plan offices than did females. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.