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I've been working in open office environments for the last 5+ years, also at one of AmaFaceGooSoft. I find it's a non-issue, it doesn't bother me or others, I can't recall a time in the last 1-2 years when someone complained about it. Saying that o.o. is not effective is a bit fishy given how successful some of the companies employing it are.

I remember 10+ years ago at my first job we had a nice office building (it was an architectural CAD software company, so their offices were pretty okay). It was 4-6 people per room. In retrospect I wouldn't want that layout again, it kills XFN cooperation, eg. you have to go to another room and potentially knock just to talk to the UX or PM guy.

I prefer o.o. because it's better for fast moving, constantly changing teams building product; everybody's on the same "floor", working on the same product.

I can't recall a time in the last 1-2 years when someone complained about it

Pick one (or more):

* they don't know the alternative

* they're afraid to speak up and sound un-cool

* they don't realize it's actually killing their ability to focus

* they do so privately and are ignored by the higher ups

Audio-visual distractions have proven to be detrimental to focused, "intellectual", work. Not by an article on Medium, but by actual research[1]. Time[2] and time again[3] and again[4], ad infinitum.

Open office is the anti-vaxx of today's tech world, where all known data is ignored in favor of superstition.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Peopleware-Productive-Projects-Second...

[2] http://www.news.com.au/open-plan-offices-make-you-sick/story...

[3] http://online.rivier.edu/open-office-layout-and-employee-pro...

[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494413...

> I can't recall a time in the last 1-2 years when someone complained about it.

I personally wouldn't complain about it, just quietly endure it until I find something better (I have done that at several previous jobs, and this one even. There's enough other good things here that I just deal with it, but I don't like it).

Just because no one is actively and loudly complaining about it doesn't mean there must be no one that has a problem with it.

Perhaps every single other employee has a problem with it besides you, and they're just not speaking about it.

Do you have a "shut up" rule, though? I have to endure shared music, discussions about sportsball or TV shows, people making calls, etc. while trying to use a debugger a meter away (pack 'em in!). I could possibly tolerate on-topic discussions, but off-topic stuff belongs in a break room.

Office is for work not play. At the really good/successful companies there's very strong work ethic, so people are not socializing on the floor, making calls, listening to music without headphones. In that case I'd say you have a culture/people management issue, not an office layout issue.

> I can't recall a time in the last 1-2 years when someone complained about it.

I don't like open office plans, but they're so common in the Bay Area that there's not much avoiding them. I don't want to work remote, and office configurations aren't the only thing I look for in a gig. So realistically, I'm probably going to be working in an open plan as long as I'm here.

It works and it's not a crippling thing to have to contend with, but not everyone is ideally suited for an open office plan. I think it disproportionately hurts people that have skills in certain things, wider responsibilities, or institutional knowledge that a number of others have to utilize. You can have the best organized, most complete documentation ever and this will still be an issue.

> I can't recall a time in the last 1-2 years when someone complained about it.

Maybe they're trying to be polite? I would think they it could come off as they don't want to talk to their co-workers when they say they don't like being in an open office layout.

I would hate working in an open office, but I still don't think I'd complain openly to everyone about it.

What do you do when you need to focus?

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