Rumor has it that there are people out there, real live actual people, who actually enjoy working in an open office environment.
I have yet to actually meet any of these mythical people in person. But article after article claims that such people actually exist, and think it is awesome and wonderful and inspiring and whee!
In case it isn’t obvious, I am not one of those people. Nor, for that matter, is anyone else I have ever talked to, leading me to suspect that the only people who actually honestly think this sort of arrangement is actually *good* for productivity are the manager types who never have to actually *sit* in such an arrangement to experience why it sucks.
For the past several years I’ve been in a somewhat open office arrangement. Like any giant behemoth of a company, my office is comprised primarily of cubicles, surrounding clusters of actual offices. Higher ups get the offices, of course, and while I might dream wistfully of having a space with a door, I do not dream at all wistfully of having all the responsibility that comes with the position required to get that space-with-a-door. So I recognize that this attitude means I will always have a cube. But the one to which I was assigned when we first moved over to this office only had two walls and it was located in what was referred to as ‘the pit’. It was right next to a main thoroughfare which meant people tended to cluster behind it and have conversations. Plus two walls meant that I was constantly being distracted by noise and movement from all sides.
This week, however, I decided I had had enough. So I scouted out the empty spaces around the office and then I found a little cube in the back. It is right next to a conference room, which means occasionally there’s some chatter (but you know the awesome thing about conference rooms? They have a DOOR. That CLOSES. And SHUTS OUT THE CHATTER), but it also has three walls, all tall enough that people can’t just peer at me over them and startle me. And three walls also means that there is only one direction from which I can be distracted.
I’ve been camped out in that space the past couple days, ‘test driving’ the cube (to see if the conference-related chatter might be a stumbling block), but today is the day I officially moved. Throughout the day today I’ve been slowly loading up a big cart with all my stuff from the old cube, and moving it over to the new one.
It isn’t an office. And there isn’t a door. But there is a bookshelf (which I really really needed because we have a lot of reference material between the two of us in my tiny little department), and as I mentioned, it has three high walls. I can do my work and not be constantly distracted by things behind me or beside me. And it is awesome.
The letter M is brought to you by the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.