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  #21  
Old 20 July 2018, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sooeygun View Post
Not so much furniture, but office design...open concept, shared space, no assigned desks. That's the trend right now. I'm in commercial leasing. We are doing a lot of offices where only the bigwigs have offices and everyone else is in open space. They'll have some separate meeting space and maybe little rooms for phone calls (often with glass walls). No wonder so many of the staff wear noise cancelling head phones.

Happily, I work for an old fashioned owner. I need my cubicle walls to give at least a semblance of privacy.
Supposedly in the 1970s cubicles themselves were the trendy new thing in office design, replacing actual offices with walls and doors. Back when I was an intern at IBM our building probably dated from the 1960s; it was just rows of narrow hallways lined with windowless offices.

I can see how the open concept office might be good for the sort of work that requires a lot of collaboration with other people, but for the kind of work where you need to just sit down and focus... no. Thankfully I to work for a company that still uses cubicles. My previous employer had switched to the open concept in certain buildings, though not the one I worked in.
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  #22  
Old 20 July 2018, 08:33 PM
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https://www.fastcompany.com/90204593...n-plan-offices

Something germane to our conversation:

Hereís the final nail in the coffin of open plan offices
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  #23  
Old 20 July 2018, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by UEL View Post
Here’s the final nail in the coffin of open plan offices
I haven't worked in an open office environment. I've seen a few when interviewing, and it's a turnoff from working there. But I can imagine how it could backfire in terms of collaboration. If you want to collaborate face to face with someone, their office or your office are ideal places to do that. I have been in situations where two people in the same conference room are trying to have parallel conversations and talking over each other, and it's incredibly distracting and hard to focus on either conversation. If I wanted to collaborate with someone but their workspace was within earshot of 8 other people's workspace who weren't part of the conversation, I'd want to cut back on how much time I was talking around all those other people and seriously consider shooting off an email instead.
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  #24  
Old 25 July 2018, 02:09 PM
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Dr. Winston O'Boogie Dr. Winston O'Boogie is offline
 
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My company is moving to the Open Workspace design; my area moved into our new space on Monday. I was pleasantly surprised that the noise level wasn't worse. Still reserving judgement on the overall effects. Not a fan of the concept, but still hoping for the best.

Part of the whole idea is that there will be apx. 80% as many work spaces as there are employees, so working off-site (i.e. at home) at least once a week is pretty much mandatory. Not that I mind working from home, but it takes a discipline that not everyone has - you can't get distracted by laundry or kids or message boards or....
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  #25  
Old 25 July 2018, 02:40 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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About 15 years ago, my employer decided that a certain group of workers should work virtually--but not from home. In effect, this meant that some worked out of their cars (keeping their files in the trunk), others worked at remediation properties we were involved in, and still others settled permanently into so-called hoteling stations. I think the experiment lasted less than a year before people were assigned to permanent cubicles again.

On paper, the virtual idea made sense for this group, as they spent at least three days a week visiting various sites around the region; in practice, it just barely missed being a disaster.

Those groups that work virtually nowadays are allowed to work from home. That much progress has been made in 15 years.

Seaboe
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  #26  
Old 25 July 2018, 02:45 PM
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Working from home at least for some of the business's I am aware of seems to be an idea that has come and gone. I don't know how much of that is because the powers that be realized that workers actually being in the same place at the same time makes more sense for them or if they realized that some people who work from home aren't spending nearly as much time working as they should be (it's amazing, or maybe it isn't, how many people can't resist taking advantage of things) but in any event it seems that working from home isn't as common as it was a few years ago.
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  #27  
Old 27 July 2018, 05:34 PM
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Working at home is now downright discouraged. Too many people decided that if they were working at home, they could work when they wanted, and wouldn't be available during normal working hours and/or used it to save on childcare. Have you ever tried to have a business conference call with someone who has a child sitting on their lap? It's not good.

Combine that with part-time workers, and we still have the situation that for each day at least one person is not in the office. Really doesn't help with team building or even continuity.
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  #28  
Old 27 July 2018, 07:49 PM
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My experience with civilians working from home (in a military setting) is that they are product driven. They have a position paper that is due to the CO by Friday, it takes 25 hours to craft and write, three days at home will do if they get it done. These workers tend to be paid on a salary.

I also know others that are paid by the product turned in, and are not paid salary, but by output. $5000 for a certain product, when it is accepted, they get paid.

With both of those, there are tracking mechanisms (did the product get completed on time). I am not aware of how others would do it.
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  #29  
Old 27 July 2018, 08:01 PM
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I like having the option to work from home, but I only do it when there's some reason I really need to be home, like this Monday when I need to be here to sign for my new laptop when it arrives. I'd rather work from my office though. I feel like there are too many distractions at home; I'll be tempted to watch TV or do household chores rather than actual work. And at work I have two big monitors, and I can ask coworkers questions in person if I need to. At home I have to work off of a small laptop screen and have to track down colleagues on IM or email.
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  #30  
Old 30 July 2018, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
Have you ever tried to have a business conference call with someone who has a child sitting on their lap? It's not good.
While marijuana is legal in Washington, my employer has a no-drug policy (which is perfectly legal). Imagine participating in a video-conference call from home, and lighting up a joint while the Chief Labor attorney is watching. Perfect way to lose your job.

Yes, this really happened.

Seaboe
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  #31  
Old 30 July 2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
or do household chores rather than actual work.

Conference Skype calls are the perfect time to unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen.

Double acheivement time.
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  #32  
Old 30 July 2018, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
Conference Skype calls are the perfect time to unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen.

Double acheivement time.
At my old job there was a regularly scheduled conference call at 7:00 am every week to accommodate attendees in India. I would call in on Skype from home, mute my microphone, and listen in while I prepared and ate breakfast.
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  #33  
Old 30 July 2018, 05:09 PM
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The best thing is that you can even put those skills on your CV as "ability to multitask"!

Most of the offices I've been in have been open plan - sometimes with barrier screens between rows of desks (a couple of feet above the desk so that you can't see the people opposite you without standing up) and sometimes without, but never with cubicles. My job is a mixture of needing to concentrate and needing to talk to people, so I don't mind it too much - I don't have to concentrate as much as the developers, but I know they tend to hate it. In the last office they all moved down to an empty suite even though they'd previously been moved out of it to "prevent silos" and force them into the noisy space. Unfortunately the empty suite was also where we'd put the ping-pong table which meant nobody could play ping-pong until after 5.30pm, which defeated the purpose of having it...

When I first moved to that company we were in a different office (which had smaller rooms, so all the teams were separate even though each room was open plan; it wasn't as noisy because support - the noisiest team - had its own room). The main furniture innovation was glass-topped desks, which occasionally exploded into fragments.

We used temporary office space for a while (just before they made half of us redundant and moved to the new permanent offices). The company was called Spaces and seemed to be new (it used to be Regus, but I think that's a different company) - small flexible temporary offices seem to be popular at the moment. The company didn't want to hire enough space for all of us there, either, so we were supposed to have a rota where we each worked from home on one or more days of the week. My day was Friday but it made no difference anyway as the offices were always half-empty even if I did come in on Friday. A lot of people hated it so much that they just didn't come in, and "worked from home" all the time, and the managers were never there to enforce any of it anyway - if they cared.

Apparently the new offices are nice but most of the staff I knew have gone by now even if they weren't made redundant. Wherever the new management are taking the place, it's not where people thought it was going before.
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  #34  
Old 30 July 2018, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
While marijuana is legal in Washington, my employer has a no-drug policy (which is perfectly legal). Imagine participating in a video-conference call from home, and lighting up a joint while the Chief Labor attorney is watching. Perfect way to lose your job.

Yes, this really happened.

Seaboe
Oops! That's as bad as a pornographic photo mixed in with your PowerPoint presentation on projected expenses for the next fiscal year (or whatever).
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