Gotta love those Swedes. From the country that brought us Celsius, the safety match, dynamite, the cream separator, and the internal pacemaker we now get connected paper. The smarty pants at Ericsson have developed a paper label capable of communicating a variety of bits of data using you own body as the network.
Do a search for open office floor plans and you will get back a long list of articles and studies on how these concepts are doomed to failure. Distractions both auditory and visual are the main problems identified, but personality and work styles are equally important reasons. They are acknowledged productivity killers. Yet despite all the press around how it doesn’t work companies continue to adopt open offices.
Mine too I’m afraid. I lose my office in two weeks. I lose my walls. I lose my view over the river valley. I lose my discussion side table and guest chair. I lose most of my office furniture. I get instead six feet of work surface, a chair, and 42″ walls. With a moderate lean I sit within handshaking distance of five other people. It would be six, but one workspace is vacant.
There is no complaining about it. There is no changing the decision. This train has left the station. My colleagues and I are resigned to trying to make the best of it.
I can take some solice in the fact that over my 30 odd years on the job I have had some of the best office space in the company for at least half of the time. I would argue at times I had the best office in the company, including the president’s. A bit smaller maybe but when you considered the location, the views, the amenities, I definitely had some great offices. Even the president never had a pool table just down the hall like I did for a few years. A little yin for the yang maybe.