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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default Open office? Yea or nay?

    I work in a field that has some need for privacy and for my whole career I have had a walled office. In my life, I run into many people who are forced to work in "Open Offices" (this can mean a lot of things but genrally means lower/ half cubicles and a lack of privacy- it is meant to foster collaboration). I have never heard anything positive about the open office concept, always negatives.

    What do people here think? Is there any utility to the open office?


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnipegopher View Post
    I work in a field that has some need for privacy and for my whole career I have had a walled office. In my life, I run into many people who are forced to work in "Open Offices" (this can mean a lot of things but genrally means lower/ half cubicles and a lack of privacy- it is meant to foster collaboration). I have never heard anything positive about the open office concept, always negatives.

    What do people here think? Is there any utility to the open office?
    You could go for a semi-open office, e.g., low-walled cubicles (?). If you personally prefer to work in privacy, I certainly would not choose to go "open office" if you have a choice.
    Last edited by cncmin; 04-26-2019 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default Open office? Yea or nay?

    I like it. Makes the work days more fun and easier to have work conversations. It’s easier to have a fun conversation with a co worker about life and it’s easier to ask questions about work.

    Director’s and above have offices, and there are plenty of 1 person conference rooms for people to take private calls or have a web meeting if they don’t want to have it at their desk.

    I would feel more isolated if we went back to cubicles. They also seem like a waste of space.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Windom, MN
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    7,733

    Default

    Depends on the situation. I work in a situation where our front-office person splits time between two locations. If he's not at our location, there is no one at the front desk to deal with anyone who walks in off the street - which they do because we sell discounted certificates from local businesses. So, from my open work area, I can see the front desk and walk out to help someone.

    Yes, it can be distracting sometimes when I'm working on a project, and someone walks up and starts talking to me - which may or may not be work-related. But in our situation, I almost have to be able to see what's going on with people coming and going. If that means I have to listen to one of the sales people talk about his bowling league for a couple of minutes, so be it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    So. MN
    Posts
    3,643

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    Quote Originally Posted by short ornery norwegian View Post
    Depends on the situation. I work in a situation where our front-office person splits time between two locations. If he's not at our location, there is no one at the front desk to deal with anyone who walks in off the street - which they do because we sell discounted certificates from local businesses. So, from my open work area, I can see the front desk and walk out to help someone.

    Yes, it can be distracting sometimes when I'm working on a project, and someone walks up and starts talking to me - which may or may not be work-related. But in our situation, I almost have to be able to see what's going on with people coming and going. If that means I have to listen to one of the sales people talk about his bowling league for a couple of minutes, so be it.
    You sound like a real treat to work with/for.
    Please consider donating to this site; especially if you are a frequent poster.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LesBolstad View Post
    You sound like a real treat to work with/for.
    He seems like he would be a pretty pleasant fellow to have as a next door neighbor in a cube farm, less.

  8. #8

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    High walled cubicles. I don't think that I'd enjoy working in an open office situation.

  9. #9

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    INC: It's Official: Open-Plan Offices Are Now the Dumbest Management Fad of All Time

    As my colleague Jessica Stillman pointed out last week, a new study from Harvard showed that when employees move from a traditional office to an open plan office, it doesn't cause them to interact more socially or more frequently.

    Instead, the opposite happens. They start using email and messaging with much greater frequency than before. In other words, even if collaboration were a great idea (it's a questionable notion), open plan offices are the worst possible way to make it happen.

    Previous studies of open plan offices have shown that they make people less productive, but most of those studies gave lip service to the notion that open plan offices would increase collaboration, thereby offsetting the damage.

    The Harvard study, by contrast, undercuts the entire premise that justifies the fad. And that leaves companies with only one justification for moving to an open plan office: less floor space, and therefore a lower rent.

    But even that justification is idiotic because the financial cost of the loss in productivity will be much greater than the money saved in rent. Here's an article where I do the math for you. Even in high-rent districts, the savings have a negative ROI.

    More important, though--if employees are going to be using email and messaging to communicate with co-workers, they might as well be working from home, which costs the company nothing.


    In fact, work-from-home actually saves money because then employees can live in areas where housing is more affordable, which means you can pay them a smaller salary than if you force them to live in, say, a high-rent district like Santa Clara, California.

    So there it is. Companies have spent billions of dollars to create these supposedly-collaborative workplaces and the net effect has been for those same companies to suffer billions of dollars in lost productivity.

    https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/i...-all-time.html

    Go Gophers!!

  10. #10

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    Open floor plans save money on tenant improvement construction costs which translates one way or another to lower occupancy costs. They are popular with the people who sign the leases. Most of the people who work in the open spaces dislike it.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamiche View Post
    Open floor plans save money on tenant improvement construction costs which translates one way or another to lower occupancy costs. They are popular with the people who sign the leases. Most of the people who work in the open spaces dislike it.
    May save in construction and occupancy costs...but what does it end up costing in employee efficiency and productivity? I guess you could make the argument that management would be better able to supervise employees....somewhat reversing that loss in efficiency/productivity....but now I think you'd face an issue with workplace moral. Low moral = high turnover which is a big problem.

    Certain fields work better for the open floor plan design. It's not a catch-all. High-collaboration fields like things that deal in the creative arts are more geared towards it. As an accountant....I would absolutely dread it.

  12. #12

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    Cubicle commando conundrum

  13. #13

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    What do you all think about working from home? I mean legit, primary working location from home office. Not a "I'm going to work from home a half day on friday".

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gophers_4life View Post
    What do you all think about working from home? I mean legit, primary working location from home office. Not a "I'm going to work from home a half day on friday".
    Unfortunately I cannot. I connect to a primary server....since I'm working with data pulls that largely deal in cash. There's a few levels of security that can only be passed from the office in order to access our database. So there's a limited amount of stuff that I can do from home. I cannot query a thing.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by stocker08 View Post
    Unfortunately I cannot. I connect to a primary server....since I'm working with data pulls that largely deal in cash. There's a few levels of security that can only be passed from the office in order to access our database. So there's a limited amount of stuff that I can do from home. I cannot query a thing.
    Set up a VPN and Remote Desktop to your work PC.

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