No walls, no cubes, no thanks

The front page story in the San Jose Mercury News yesterday  gave me chills, and makes me glad I work in a home office.

What the article said was that working out in the open in groups, without a set desk, was the way to be more efficient. The pictures that went along with the office showed some very uncomfortable people sitting in arm chairs, their lap-tops on, well, their laps, working away, their ever-present water bottles by their side.

Now, some things I do agree with in the article, because when I worked in an office, low those many years ago, we too had an open office plan. The art department worked in one large room and it was much easier to communicate when we were all in the same room, could see each other, show each other things on the screen, ask questions.

But, we each had our own desks, with our own stuff, and this is the big difference. To say, as this article does, that the lap-top is the desk, and that is all we need, is reducing how we work to being little more than drones. Do we not need pictures near our workstations (although, granted, I have those on my computer screen)? Do we not need places for our pens, our flowers, our knick-knacks?

Cisco, apparently thinks not. The only mention of personal things is "…some workers still miss their "stuff," though small lockers are available for personal belongings, such as a purse."

So, while I agree with the concept, the idea of not having any place that is mine, would drive me a little crazy.


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