Lindsey Kaufman writing for the Washington Post:
These new floor plans are ideal for maximizing a company’s space while minimizing costs. 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 employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity.
I think there are certain jobs for which and people for whom the open floor plan works better. For example, when I worked on a large system conversion with a tight deadline, having us all work in an environment where we could resolve problems as they came up was key. When everyone in the environment is working hard on the same problems, it works. But trying to jam different departments or functions together all the time just makes a distraction-rich, contentious environment and is almost always done because of costs and sold with a veneer of productivity mumbo-jumbo.
I will not miss hearing a coworker clipping their fingernails.
(Via Khoi Vinh)