Saw this article in the Washington Post about the open-office trend in the workplace. I would hate to work in this type of environment today. When I first started working full time I was in an open office and we sat at a huge table. Some of us were later moved to desks but we didn’t have cubicles. It was just one great big open office with no privacy.
A year ago, my boss announced that our large New York ad agency would be moving to an open office. After nine years as a senior writer, I was forced to trade in my private office for a seat at a long, shared table. It felt like my boss had ripped off my clothes and left me standing in my skivvies.
Our new, modern Tribeca office was beautifully airy, and yet remarkably oppressive. Nothing was private. On the first day, I took my seat at the table assigned to our creative department, next to a nice woman who I suspect was an air horn in a former life. All day, there was constant shuffling, yelling, and laughing, along with loud music piped through a PA system. As an excessive water drinker, I feared my co-workers were tallying my frequent bathroom trips. At day’s end, I bid adieu to the 12 pairs of eyes I felt judging my 5:04 p.m. departure time. I beelined to the Beats store to purchase their best noise-cancelling headphones in an unmistakably visible neon blue.
Later on in my career I finally got my own office. I’ve had window offices and inside offices with no window. Didn’t make any difference to me. As long as I had an office I was happy.
Being in an open office can create headaches especially if you work around very noisy and nosy people. Nothing worse than being around extremely loud co-workers in an open office environment. I call that suffering. At least when you have your own office and co-workers get loud you can close your door which I find myself doing quite often lately.
Check out the entire article here.