Friday, November 13, 2015

Open Office Concept

I've whined/bitched many a times about our new open office concept. 
And figured I should just write a post about it. 
Not that this post precludes me from further whining/bitching, 
oh no no no. 
Just one place to get all my thoughts out at once. 

What is open office? 

Open office is an office space without walls. 
Without doors. 
Without offices.  

No exceptions. 

This means our Executive President of North America, 
who probably makes like $2 million dollars a year, 
is also in this "open" environment. 

The idea is that the "openness" fosters collaboration. 
I'm sure it's supposed to foster much more, 
but I don't really give a shit. 

The point is that it's the "hot thing" in business right now. 
I have several friends groaning that they, too, 
are moving to open office in their new HQ. 
It's the wave of the future, people!

Open Office Examples

Short of stealing a bunch of photos off Google Images, 
I suggest you google "open office layout" and see what I'm talking about. 
Or just click HERE and I did the work for you. 
Some overpaid consultant got the bright idea 
to call each person's desk a "workstation," 
to be distinguished from a "cubicle." 
Because consultants have too much time on their hands. 

Here is an example of an empty workstation in our building: 

"But there are walls!" you say. 
No, not really. 
If I stand up, I can see everyone's computer within a 5-workstation radius. 

What Open Office Really Is

Some obvious factors: 
There is a lot of noise. 
There is a lot of distraction. 
There is absoluely ZERO privacy. 
It is an introverts nightmare. 
 I'm an Extrovert with a capital E, 
and even I hate it. 

Some not-so-obvious factors:

An open-office means a uniform office, 
so uniform lighting, 
uniform temperature, etc. 
(And yes, I understand this is the same in standard cubicle farms, 
but please, 
let me have my moment of bitching) 
One of the biggest issues is that our lights are
I get pregnancy headaches from bright light. 
Happened during my first pregnancy too. 
My blood work confirms no signs of preeclampsia, 
it's just good old pregnancy hormones. 

In our old building, 
I turned off the light in my office. 
Here, there is no relief. 

On a particularly long day, 
I built this contraption around my desk. 
And I refer to it as my "cubicle cave." 

I spoken to HR and our Health & Safety teams.
I know they are installing dimmers in some areas, 
because people are getting migraines
(you think?!?!). 
We'll see what they can do for me. 

2. Temperature 

It fluctuates between cold 
and arctic freezing. 
We are forbidden to bring in heaters, 
but I know several who have snuck them in regardless. 

3. No Trash Cans 

Yes, you read that right. 
One of the nifty little side effects of open office, 
is an attempt to consolidate smells by eliminating personal trashcans. 
So every time you blow your nose, 
you have to get up, 
walk to the kitchenette, 
and throw it away. 

In my typical "oh hell no" attitude, 
I responded by buying trashbags and keeping them at my desk. 

There are many, many, many more factors, 
but that's my "short list."


  1. So... how do you feel about the whole thing? Ha ha but seriously, I would hate this, so I feel for you. Hopefully it will be short-lived?!

  2. Just wait until you need to pump at work! Last time you had an office.... hopefully they have a good option for you (including a lap top), but still it is so inconvenient to have to get up from your desk 2-3 times a day.

    1. They actually have two pumping rooms each with a mini fridge and a sink. Neither of which are on my floor, but it's a good start. I am SOOOOOO not looking forward to actually leaving my desk 2-3 times a day, ugh!

  3. So do you find that it actually promotes collaboration? I feel like I'd just hate everyone more than I already do. Everyone's little neuroses would be on display. I also feel like it would really affect productivity. Being conscious of how much noise you're making, how can you get your work done?!? You have to leave your desk every time you need to pass gas! Haha

  4. Dave is in an open office environment but he said they could have trash cans. I never thought about the temperature/light thing. What a royal pain.