So today, my company moved into a fancy-shmancy “collaborative open office” space. So far, I’d have to say it has not been a big hit, and the only “collaborating” is deciding when to take multiple coffee breaks together to escape the painful silence. Gone are the partitions or any semblence of privacy, even if it was probably only psychological. I have never been in a (really big) room with this many people only to hear nothing but dead silence, because, let’s be real, everyone is scared of looking unproductive, what with their bosses sitting literally two feet from them. And when you get up to go wherever, it’s not just 1-2 people who notice, it’s more like 60-70!
The whole open office trend is an interesting concept, as described in this article from the NY Times. (And that image in the article is pretty accurate.) I can definitely see the pros and cons, and do admit, feeling more like “part of the team” when we all have to sit (albeit a bit like cattle) together. One thing’s for certain – it’s definitely forcing people to step outside of their comfort zones. Especially in L.A. ,we’re so used to our private spaces – from our cars to our homes to what used to be our cubes, it’s going to be a huge adjustment.
Hopefully as people get more used to being so out in the open, regular conversations, and regular office life resumes. I guess only time will tell…
Have you ever worked in such a space? Do you ever really get used to it?