If you are convinced that stuffing people into a room with little to no privacy leads to increased social interaction, you should start riding public transit during rush hour.
(It didn't work perfectly. Typing is silent, but laughing at what you just read isn't.)
Fortunately I don't have this physiological barrier. I don't care if everyone on the team listens to the conversation.
It's stressful because it has consequences. If you don't find it stressful, you probably are failing to connect the dots and see that x outcome is related to y behavior.
That, combined with the fact that you don't seem to care how your open-office talk might affect others, reminded me of the various "that guys/gals" that I've encountered in my open-office experiences. They'd regularly annoy or interrupt everyone else in the room by having no consideration, self-awareness and/or sensitivity, and usually they'd do so for the worst reason: talking about themselves. The inane shit they were up to in the weekend, or the funny YouTube video that you just have to watch awkwardly.
But again, my apologies for projecting that on you, because obviously I have no idea if any of this applies. It just reminded me of something that ruined open-offices for me.
I understand that, the trick for me is to not let myself to be negatively affected by that, in other words, I make myself to filter out/ignore all those stuff. Its a useful skill to have.
I strongly believe that respecting other people means taking into account that they might not possess my particular skill-set, and especially when said respect doesn't cost me much effort but causes others significant stress/discomfort, not showing this respect is just being an asshole.
(Of course, that's assuming that I'm aware of all this. The other side of this 'transaction' is for the other to express whatever problem they might have with my behavior)
The least social for me was the single office. I would stay in there all day long and I would have privacy but I would literally not see anyone. The worst was a cubicle where it had none of the privacy (couldn't eat fish or fart or have private conversations) but you still have the lack of social interaction.
I dislike it with passion and open office together with no parking spaces close by later than 08:15 made me look for a new job. These everyday problems are the most annoying.
new people: please don't down vote people just because you disagree.
I would like to ask another question though, how does the community feel about people who talk to themselves when they're focused?
I find myself doing that at home a lot when working and I really do perform focused tasks significantly better.
"Aha, this is a bit stupid"
"So, if I move this here it'll be more orthogonal"
"Ah jeez, why did I choose that type!"
I feel like doing this in any kind of open setting is really not ideal but it takes conscious effort to avoid doing it.
On that note, sometimes I do wonder what my colleagues think, since I sometimes do the talking myself through a task as well.
Still, talking to yourself IS disruptive. Especially depending on your volume.
>they're going to be using headphones anyway
Unless you are playing music at a level that damages your hearing, headphones do not cancel out voices.
> Honestly, you do you.
Agreed. And I will complain about unnecessary noises invading my space.
There's a special place in hell for those people :). Even worse when they are whispering or mumbling.
It's really the same as talking on the phone: my brain is hijacked because it only has a side of the conversation.
it happens automatically once I'm above 80% invested into something, so in order to be safe I don't let myself get any more than 50% invested because I'm worried about disturbing others.
I'm not sure what I can do here, I have to be in an office which has no sound barriers of any kind between anyone.
>I don't get distracted by noise or movement so that could be a big factor, so I can code without any problems
I think better alternative is to allow both option, allow employee to work remove if they prefer not to see their coworker.
I agree that this is the biggest factor. If it didn't bother me, I would probably enjoy an open office.
> I think better alternative is to allow both option, allow employee to work remove if they prefer not to see their coworker.
I yearn for the day my workplace opens up this option.
I had been given a task by my manager, in such a way that my coworkers could hear that it was something important I had to get done ASAP.
Half an hour later, I'm heads down working, with earphones in. Very obviously coding. Coworker taps me on the shoulder. "Yes?" "Why aren't you chatting with us?"
I'd like to say I made some clever remark, but at the time I was speechless.
(Please note that I do engage in normal small talk at other times. )
Not sure what the point of doing studies on this is? It's incredibly cultural and business/job specific.
Someone commission a study on developers take on open office vs other roles, STAT!
But, when it matters, it REALLY matters.
My favorite experience was working on a team where the open office was essentially a large office for about 6 people only. That felt great since there was a more communal vibe and I had sufficient personal space. We had a couch, a table with a chessboard and some people brought snacks over.
The former is what I have in industry and if I forget my noise cancelling headphones I might as well go home.
In my view, Steve Jobs had the right idea when he helped design Pixar's headquarters: plenty of private and semi-private working areas interconnected by multiple larger, more central, common areas through which everyone would have to travel throughout the day, increasing the odds of spontaneous interaction and collaboration with colleagues from different areas:
Think of it as "privacy when you need it, sprinkled with spontaneous interaction throughout the day, when you take breaks from private work."
[a] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19683405 / https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19683419
I work for a company that not only has an open plan office, but no assigned seating either. It's honestly the worst, mostly because I like to have my own environment at work. I can't bring in my keyboard or any of my other stuff, and as corny as it is i can't even bring in photos to keep at my desk since there's no assigned seating!
As much as i like open spaces, i miss at /least/ having my own desk.
Then they introduced a mandatory uniform and a complete ban on personal items -- all the Wallace and Gromit coffee mugs, the photos of family disappeared overnight.
It's the most sterile, depersonalising, demotivating work environment I've ever encountered.
Incidentally, BPS covered this in another article... "Why it’s important that employers let staff personalise their workspaces" -- https://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/03/27/why-its-important-that-... . It's well worth a read.
I've mentioned some of the other stuff they did in my other comments so I won't dig it up here. I left at the end of last year and at that point I was doing the job of four engineers (who'd all left).
These days, I sleep through the night (first time in about five years), I've massively cut down my coffee intake (from four cups of espresso-strength to a couple of lattes), and I'm working on my own projects in the evenings again. I still have about a stone in weight (put on through comfort-eating) to burn off, but I'm working on that.
Give me my desk!! my keyboard!! my monitors!!
Open offices are the first half of that, and open desks are the other half.
Who does it benefit? The company in cost per person of space. Any other metric applied shows gross inadequacies of open offices.
Maybe i'm just being a baby, but a work desk doesn't feel complete without at least a picture of my dog at it, haha.
Having worked in an open office like environment before, it was the only way I was able to get a lot of stuff done.
These types of open offices are a deathknell for productivity and great for people who use work as their only social outlet.
I work from home or a coffee shop down the street from my office as a result and almost never even see my coworkers faces.
But the main driver of open-plan offices is usually density / cost. I suspect many of the cost savings of the most recent wave of office design are coming from employees who no longer come into the office because the conditions aren’t conducive to working.
How much space does a indoor wall take in comparation to the space between the desk there are anyway in open offices.
You have to put cabinets on the floor since shelves can't hang on walls.
Whiteboards are on feet in the "hallway".
I have never been in an open office and though "Jeez look at all the space they save by not having walls" if you would compare to 6 or 4 person offices.
They’re awful for productivity, but they definitely are cheaper.
The only place I ever worked with an open floor plan, I worked as a security analyst/engineer. Behind me were contracted programmers from various outsourcing firms who could see my screens and hear my conversations when discussing sensitive security issues.
So much time was wasted trying to find an empty conference room for an impromptu discussion about an active security incident.
I had done in the past cubicles, private office, shared office, etc - but this one was somewhat unique because the company that I was hired on with didn't have any other place to put me and the rest of the "new guys".
So they stuck us in their small conference room. Which had terrible air flow (aka - none).
We had this long table-like desk; there were four of us, two on each side. We all had a dual-monitor setup with regular PCs - nothing fancy there.
It was crazy hot in there - we called it "the oven".
But we made it ours while we had it. Our team lead played a crazy mix of music from spotify. We could easily collaborate as needed. We could keep the lights off and not be bothered with that.
Eventually we got a portable AC unit to help with the comfort of the room.
We got a lot of great work done in that room. About a year later, we moved offices, and the owners decided to go "open floorplan" (we later learned this was all a scheme towards selling the company). Things changed greatly. While our entire team could be together (we had a couple other members of the team who were outside of the oven at the old office) at one "desk" - the open office didn't facilitate talking amongst ourselves as much or collaboration, because sales was nearby, etc.
Most of the time, we listened to music or whatnot on headphones, and just used Hipchat and email to communicate.
... at least in the short term (less building costs), but more expensive in the long term (less productivity, less happy employees).
The decision makers don't seem to care.
My company changed to an open office right before selling. It was a short-term money-making decision.
I've been working 100% from home for the last 8 months and rather enjoy it.
Should I just hold out for another remote job? I have about 10 months of burn left in my bank account...
seems one could easily come up with 2 new companies example where the opposite is true given a different design / team layout / project types and so on