Sunday, November 18, 2007

Down on the Cube Farm

With a move to a new office space and low cubicles just around the corner, I am compelled to analyze why I find cubes so noxious and disrespectful...

Maybe it's because I can remember the Microsoft job ads promising an office with a door that shuts for every programmer. They get it, I thought.

Maybe it's because sometimes I need to concentrate - really concentrate - to get every detail stuffed into my brain at one time to solve a problem. That requires a distraction-free environment.

Maybe it's because I really don't want to have to listen to someone else's conversation. Not on the El, not in a restaurant, and not at work.

Maybe it's because I have to talk to other people all the time, and I'm aware of the noise pollution we're creating for everyone else within earshot.

But maybe mostly it's because I think it's Theory X embodied. Employees must be observable at all times or else they will slack off. If you really think these are the kinds of employees that your hiring policies bring in, you really should outsource the entire company to India.

And I'm not the only one:
The Myth of the Collaborative Cube Farm
Firewall your attention at the office
Why Proximity Kills Productivity
Cubicles: The great mistake

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