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The Christopher Alexander solution described in Peopleware sounds like a good compromise, having both individual and group spaces.

"People cannot work effectively if their workspace is too enclosed or too exposed. A good workspace strikes the balance."

"fashion space explicitly around working groups. Each team needs identifiable public and semiprivate space and each individual needs protected private space. The team members and their space counselor could work out the possible ways their space could be arranged."


> space counselor

Does anyone have a "space counselor" how is not their manager? I've always taken my "space counselor" issues to my direct manager.

Their idea of a "space counselor" wouldn't work in a startup or even a small company. In a large company like Google or IBM or Microsoft then having someone who just specializes in knowing where all the buildings are, their floorplans, and who is currently using which rooms would be quite important. When you form a team (of 3-5 people, ideally) in this company you would go to them and find a spot where you could all work together. They would help you pick out furniture, design the layout, recommend putting in a couch and coffee table, etc. They would basically be the front-end UI for the entire facilities department.

This would indeed be happening completely independently of your normal manager (except that your manager probably told you where to find the space counselor, made an appointment for you, etc).

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