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posted by n1 on Wednesday December 31 2014, @01:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the can't-hear-myself-think dept.

Lindsey Kaufman writes in the Washington Post that despite its obvious problems, the open-office model has continued to encroach on workers across the country with about 70 percent of US. offices having no or low partitions. Silcon Valley has led the way with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enlisting famed architect Frank Gehry to design the largest open floor plan in the world, housing nearly 3,000 engineers with a single room, stretching 10 acres, where everyone will sit in the open with moveable furniture. Michael Bloomberg was an early adopter of the open-space trend, saying it promoted transparency and fairness. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees, ensuring clandestine porn-watching, constant social media-browsing and unlimited personal cellphone use isn’t occupying billing hours. But according to Kaufman employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity with a 2013 study showing that many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance. Nearly half of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem for them and more than 30 percent complained about the lack of visual privacy. The New Yorker, in a review of research on this nouveau workplace design, determined that the benefits in building camaraderie simply mask the negative effects on work performance. While employees feel like they’re part of a laid-back, innovative enterprise, the environment ultimately damages workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction says Kaufman. "Though multitasking millennials seem to be more open to distraction as a workplace norm, the wholehearted embrace of open offices may be ingraining a cycle of under-performance in their generation," writes Maria Konnikova. "They enjoy, build, and proselytize for open offices, but may also suffer the most from them in the long run."

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday December 31 2014, @12:59PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday December 31 2014, @12:59PM (#130500)

    To realistically prepare you for the workplace, the room should be full of socializing idiots who wander by and say something pointless to you just when you about have the problem cracked.

    Ask a moron who thinks open offices are a great idea if when you get called for an emergency while at home, you should take your laptop and run to the nearest playground or day care center and sit in the center of a cluster of little brats. Because obviously that'll do wonders for your productivity, just like at the office.

    Or if you flex time / work at home, do all your work at a bar or strip club, because some moron told you continuous noise and distraction increases productivity.

    Aside from the primate dominance ritual there's a large component of "who will go along to play along no matter how stupid of a thing I say" and "who is the biggest yes man no matter how dumb the idea" and "who really buys into and loves the idea of doublespeak despite that term's historical bad press and reputation". If half of mgmt is below the median WRT ethical / moral caliber, its a strong indication you're working for psychopaths / criminals or at least the rate is higher than normal.

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