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Another seemingly imperceptible disruption is vibration, ie "physical noise". I had the bottom-of-the-totem-pole pleasure of having the (open) office space right by the restroom, kitchen, and coffee machine.

The major noises were not the main problem; the problem was the stress of people beelining for either of the three with the felicity of an elephant stampede.

Add to this office congestion the pleasure of a female stampede of high heels or male Italian shoes.

Which is not to say that a coffee machine can't shake the foundation of the building like a malcontent washing machine.

It's driven me up the fucking wall, and it is by far my biggest annoyance with an open office.

Keep this in mind, the next time you or someone else goes on about dress code - or taking things easy. Hell, give your employees the option of company-provided sneakers. Then you can still dictate style guidelines.

Either that or give people a goddamn vibration-dampened fastlane.

When I hear something like this, it sound like your pleading for padded shackles. My heart goes out to you.

A friend of mine worked at a place where he was next to metal door to the outside that slammed shut loudly all day. He wore those big industrial earmuffs to try to block it out. This is the Phd physicist/developer who did all the hard math for them...

To my developer brethren (and sisters!), work doesn't have to be like that. There are companies that treat their developers well. You really need to interview the company during the job interview, talk to people that work there before you go, do your research.

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