Your work office space



  • I did a post grad last year in leadership and it touched on a few things in the work place and with that we got to see some of the newer working environments that some business are striving towards.
     
    One that struck me was where you no longer had a set area to sit and that you may end up sitting with someone different each day and that management (Not just middle) also sat in the same area. There were offices to hold meetings but they were to be booked appropriately and not be used as a standard office.
     
    Listening to the changes in the way the business operated becasue of this was fascinating.
     
    I have my own office that looks out to the mill and internally to the other heads.  I have looked at changes but we have more pressing issues to deal with than seats.
     
    I started this thread as TR's post in awesome stuff you see on the internet. We are seeing more people use stand up desks at some of the other offices scattered around and even a few people with mini tread mills so they are walking slowly while working.
     
    I like the idea of open ereas without partition for interdepartment knowledge transfer and synergies but I also think we would lose some experience if we went that way.



  • synergies

    wanker
     
     
    This was getting a bit of traction a couple of years back. The missus and I have discussed it a few times. Our point both seems to be, in our positions, a few times a day, discussions need to be had that require the door to be shut. Having to schedule a meeting room to have a discussion that may only take a minute or 2 seems like a total pain the ass.



  • I have been involved in a lot of projects where compoanies move from open plan to hot desking with lockers.  It is pretty much the standard configuration with new developments.
     
    I've seen some that I wouldn't mind working in and others that I think are glorified sweat shops.
     
    Intangible benefits to businesses - staff get in earlier to grab the best position, high staff/m2 ratio, much greater flexibility and lower infrastructure costs.
     
    In talking to staff its the common/.meeting areas that seem to be the bones of contention. ASB has done it well with a range of various options from rather nifty chairs facing each other designed to block out noise to a cave. Others have glass fish bowls in the middle of the room.  Also better if everyone is in the same boat, rather than one rule for management and another for the wage slaves.
     
    I thought the benefits of stand-up desks had been myth-busted?  They seem more of a fad than the office set-up.
     
    Disclaimer - I have my own 50 square metre office and very nice it is too.



  • willis
     
     
    This was getting a bit of traction a couple of years back. The missus and I have discussed it a few times. Our point both seems to be, in our positions, a few times a day, discussions need to be had that require the door to be shut. Having to schedule a meeting room to have a discussion that may only take a minute or 2 seems like a total pain the ass.

    Funny you should say that was I was trying to think of a less pork chop way of saying that but got lazy and Cliché-d the shit out of it



  • The missus and I have discussed it a few times. Our point both seems to be, in our positions, a few times a day, discussions need to be had that require the door to be shut. Having to schedule a meeting room to have a discussion that may only take a minute or 2 seems like a total pain in the ass.

    You young fellas!



  • I have tried the standing desk, I have tried it using a swiss ball (supposedly better for your back) both just felt odd (not what you are used to)
     
    My last job (at Council) had a sucky physical environment and I reckon my eye sight suffered, only after a year. I now have 12sqm (maybe a little more) or so office with a big window.



  • I thought the banks were big on it as it's a way to get people out of the office and selling, rather than staying put in the office?



  • Got a home office overlooking the park. My business partner ( he's based in Melbourne ) and I are toying with the idea of getting me a small space on Lambton Quay or somewhere cos it does get a bit lonely and occasionally hard to motivate myself. Argument against that is that it's an outlay that, whilst small, could still be put back into the business.
     
    The benefits are vast....on days where I don't have to go out I can chuck on any old clobber, not shave, destroy the toilet etc.....and my partner argues ( rightly ) that as long as I have a laptop and phone I can pretty much work from anywhere so we'll see if I get one ( would be nice to have somewhere to bring clients as opposed to meeting in cafes all the time )
     
    Heaps of sales environments I've worked in have a bit of a "bull pen" so to speak where you're pretty hemmed in ( not quite Wolf of Wall Street styles but not far off )  but as M4L alludes to that can be a good reason to get out of the office and make things happen, make it rain and any other wank sales clichés that are applicable.



  • Depends who you ask, Hooroo.
     
    Research said that cubicles didn't work because they left everyone feeling isolated. Research said open plan didn't work because it was too fucking loud and was the cause of distractions.
     
    The hot-desking stuff you're talking about is de rigueur and we have whole floors dedicated to it at work. The meeting rooms have largely been dispensed with in those areas and "collaboration spaces" established with the plushy noise-cancelling chairs dogmeat mentioned. There are cost savings to be made, particularly if the boss-types are just in meetings all day.
     
    Does it work? Well, not always for me - there are certain measures that need to be applied to the systems I (and others) work on, that are a little specialised so that people can't just flog your credentials and log in from anywhere. They do that by fixing various network settings to certain ports and supplying appropriate bandwidth and security.
     
    Anyway, the main thing is identifying the functions of the team, and whether those functions work in open plan i.e. they're collaborative, or whether they're task-driven and so benefit from a bit of isolation occasionally.
     
    I think if you go basic for the next office refurb and establish a few things:

    • Look at the appropriate phone system for hotdesks. Can be an expense you don't need if you're moving away from a traditional office, and a lot of your guys are direct call anyway. I barely use my desk phone, and there are always google hangouts or skype or whatever.
    • Set up every desk with a 24" monitor and get staff onto laptops or something like chromebooks. Makes flexibility more easy while still giving them a decent screen to work with. Maybe also something like this to sit the laptop PC on (https://www.supplies.co.nz/#/Product/info/854667) - that way you can have a dual screen thing, which I find very helpful and I know a bunch of accountants who do as well. More screens makes things a bit easier.
    • Have "quiet" areas so that people can do those isolation tasks, whether they're a one-desk office, or a set of cubes, or whatever.

    ( would be nice to have somewhere to bring clients as opposed to meeting in cafes all the time )

    Short term office rental space for those meetings?



  • Depends who you ask, Hooroo.
     
    Research said that cubicles didn't work because they left everyone feeling isolated. Research said open plan didn't work because it was too fucking loud and was the cause of distractions.
     
    The hot-desking stuff you're talking about is de rigueur and we have whole floors dedicated to it at work. The meeting rooms have largely been dispensed with in those areas and "collaboration spaces" established with the plushy noise-cancelling chairs dogmeat mentioned. There are cost savings to be made, particularly if the boss-types are just in meetings all day.
     
    Does it work? Well, not always for me - there are certain measures that need to be applied to the systems I (and others) work on, that are a little specialised so that people can't just flog your credentials and log in from anywhere. They do that by fixing various network settings to certain ports and supplying appropriate bandwidth and security.
     
    Anyway, the main thing is identifying the functions of the team, and whether those functions work in open plan i.e. they're collaborative, or whether they're task-driven and so benefit from a bit of isolation occasionally.
     
    I think if you go basic for the next office refurb and establish a few things:

    • Look at the appropriate phone system for hotdesks. Can be an expense you don't need if you're moving away from a traditional office, and a lot of your guys are direct call anyway. I barely use my desk phone, and there are always google hangouts or skype or whatever.
    • Set up every desk with a 24" monitor and get staff onto laptops or something like chromebooks. Makes flexibility more easy while still giving them a decent screen to work with. Maybe also something like this to sit the laptop PC on (https://www.supplies.co.nz/#/Product/info/854667) - that way you can have a dual screen thing, which I find very helpful and I know a bunch of accountants who do as well. More screens makes things a bit easier.
    • Have "quiet" areas so that people can do those isolation tasks, whether they're a one-desk office, or a set of cubes, or whatever.
       
       
       
       
      Short term office rental space for those meetings?

    Yeah something we're toying with but they can look a bit cheap and nasty sometimes. I'd ideally like somewhere I can dump my shit, get a couple of chairs in and some branded banners.



  • Open floor plans are less productive.



  • Ministry of Ed have gone open plan and hot desk mad. With little or no storage space to push folks towards a paper-less environment.
     
    I don't work there but have spoken to some folks that like the approach - but they've noted that some people work the system. One group pretty much have permanent desks as they arrive early enough to claim them each day. No idea what it does for or too team culture though.
     
    I've got an office and need it for chats with staff or conversations that need to be private - let alone writing anything of substance where too much noise is a pain in the ass. Open plan can work but I reckon folks do need a bit of territory to make their own. Plus I think sometimes businesses go open plan when certain jobs/tasks/people don't really suit that environment, but get caught up along with everyone else.



  • I think the hot desking would work well in some organisations, but not in others.
     
    My job requires me to work closely with the same 2-3 people each day. If they were sitting in a different part of the office every day it would drive me insane, and I can’t see how it would help my productivity.
     
    I am open plan at the moment, after my last two jobs in which I had my own office. I thought I’d hate open plan, but I actually enjoy it. The reason is I love the people I work with, so it’s really social and fun every day. With my own office I could go a day and barely say a word to anyone, you had to force yourself to get on your feet and go and talk to other people just to break the monotony of staring at a screen.
     
    The noise can get a bit frustrating but you learn to tune it out, or just put the headphones on and drown it out with music.
     
    But I can imagine if my workplace had a few morons then the open plan set-up would be hell.



  • That's the rub aye Barb. If you have people in offices but they are social etc you can still keep that connected vibe. We have one person in our broader team who is super introverted - great at her job and a fun person but she struggles with noise, an open plan living would be living hell for her.



  • To expand on my hatred of all things open plan, following a redevelopment we went from this:
    alt text
    to this:
    alt text
    So you end feeling like you're in a Mumbai call centre. Meanwhile a couple of "desks" down is some old cunt who is progressively getting louder and louder on a conference call telling everyone he can't hear them very well. That would probably be because the sound isn't going through his headphones, but coming out of the laptop's speakers, because he hasn't plugged the cable in.

    Then everyone wants to chat all fucking day.



  • yep, people need to have an awareness of when to leave folks alone to do work. 
     
    I think our buddy JK had a wee headphone incident at work the other day... playing some Michael Bolton remix or something?? 
     
    Better than the guy in a lecture watching porn on his laptop with the speakers on! gold!



  • To expand on my hatred of all things open plan, following a redevelopment we went from this:

    to this:

    So you end feeling like you're in a Mumbai call centre. Meanwhile a couple of "desks" down is some old cunt who is progressively getting louder and louder on a conference call telling everyone he can't hear them very well. That would probably be because the sound isn't going through his headphones, but coming out of the laptop's speakers, because he hasn't plugged the cable in.
     
    Then everyone wants to chat all fucking day.

    That is certainly not what I am talking about as being more ideal.



  • Given the lack of stuff on your desk Antipodean, I wonder why you think you needed the larger desk?



  • Or should we be calling you WS022??



  • @majorrage said in Your work office space:

    Given the lack of stuff on your desk Antipodean, I wonder why you think you needed the larger desk?

    That's in the process of moving. There's another two monitors to be placed on there as well as another computer and without a KVM because different security classification means another keyboard and mouse... And I actually covered it; the ability to work without other people in your ear all day.

    @hooroo said in Your work office space:

    Or should we be calling you WS022??

    That's supposed to be hotdesking too.