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

    piston wristed gibbon
     
     
    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



  • 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 fluffybunny 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 fluffybunny 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.



  • You're racking up the posts on here though Triple R, did you recently get "restructured" as well ?



  • Much like everything else in the corporate world, it depends on the specifics, and most reasonable solutions work for some outfits and not for others. Surprise surprise...



  • Oh God, don't even get me started on this topic. Management at dayjob are obsessed with the new and shiny, and I'm hearing the horseshit buzz words like hot desk and collaboration spaces all over the fucking place. I'm in an open plan office (that looks a bit similar to antipodean's V2) but at least I have my own space. One thing I have heard talk of is all hot desks and stand up sharing areas and other fucking shit like that, and it makes me stabby.
     
    I like having a patch to call my own. I like having my own station with a nameplate and things set out how I like. Work is crazy and complicated and ever changing, but that desk is my anchor. And if I want to chat to people who don't sit near me, I go chat. Or we whip up a hot drink in the machine.
     
    Because I do a shitload of writing/proofing as part of my job, I like a quieter space to think. I sure as shit don't want to get stuck next to someone who is yapping on the phone all the time. (As antipodean also said, there is always someone who gets louder and LOUDER as the conversation progresses.) I wouldn't mind if we had our own space, and were grouped with our wider team. Then you are all doing the same thing, and know when chat is helpful and when you just want to get shit physically done.
     
    But I sure as shit don't need to sit next to a new person every day to 'collaborate'. Just because it worked for one business somewhere, doesn't mean it is right for everyone.



  • My whole career has been in open plan environments so I have no point of reference for closed door environments. But hot desking can die in a fire, unless you allow me to work from home every day. So that I only come in to the office if absolutely essential, then I will refuse to hotdesk.
     
    I agree with Mokey you need your own space. Whenever I go to a new office the first thing I do is set out my work space how I want it. I also unashamedly put out a photo of the wife and kids to remind myself why I am there, when shit gets rough.
     
    Mooshld



  • I should add that team culture is part of my role, and every day I see the damage that process over people, change for change's sake, and complete lack of consultation and/or engagement does to morale. I would say to any management team considering 'investing' in workplace environment - take care. If you are determined to move to a completely new model, ensure all staff are kept informed every step of the way with the WHY. (And you'd better have a good why, not we read it in a magazine and thought it sounded cool). If you have the capacity, TALK to staff prior. Ask what good looks like for them for noise, space requirements, meeting rooms, hot desking etc. You might find you can accommodate them in some/all ways, and angst is minimised, output isn't compromised. Plus, if there is the perception that staff have been involved in the process/listened to, trust is built and healthy dialogue and relationships proceed.
     
    I know some of this sounds wanky, but I cannot stress enough the importance of a great culture within an organisation. Bad culture destroys businesses with poor productivity, high staff turnover and rocketing costs.



  • whoa whoa whoa, are you talking about genuine staff engagement Mokey??! I know you write fantasy but...  :whistle:
     
    Ain't no place for that when management is making great (awful) and entirely informed (fabricated) decisions about what their worker bees need!! 
     
    We've had a bunch of people go for standing desks and the vast majority of folks use them regularly. Only thing you shouldn't do with them is try to stand for most of the day, or large parts of it, right from the get go. Give yourself some time to get used to it etc.



  • whoa whoa whoa, are you talking about genuine staff engagement Mokey??! I know you write fantasy but...  :whistle:
     
    Ain't no place for that when management is making great (awful) and entirely informed (fabricated) decisions about what their worker bees need!! 
     
    We've had a bunch of people go for standing desks and the vast majority of folks use them regularly. Only thing you shouldn't do with them is try to stand for most of the day, or large parts of it, right from the get go. Give yourself some time to get used to it etc.

    Ha! Shocking, I know.



  • Much like everything else in the corporate world, it depends on the specifics, and most reasonable solutions work for some outfits and not for others. Surprise surprise...

    yeh I don't actaully buy that.  You hear all the 'benefits' which are around increased productivity - which is a load of bollicks.
     
    it's all to do with cost savings - we had a company survey our office and they found 60% of desk utilisation during the day so hurrah now we're moving to fcuking hot desking and 'activity based working'.. which is the latest corporate w@nk word along with 'diversification'.  I just which they'd come out and say it rather than trying to sell it with all the other BS.
     
    I've asked how they're measuring benefits realisation, and have just been told I'm a "change challenger".
     
    yeh i like my own desk, can't be fcuked spending in total an hour a week packing sht up and unpacking each morning, especially when I've been given what I'd basically describe as a lunchbox to shove my sht in.. which takes my ergo keyboard and fan, and that's it. oh and i have a landscape & portrait screen setup, so more pissing around each day.
     
    funnily enough I'm running a project to migrate the company to Win10 and 0365..  the 'future ways of working' project is looking at increasing 'mobility' staff (using laptop / tablet) from 20% to 60% plus..   when I give them the figures around equipment hardware (laptop / tablet 3x more expensive than desktop) they're going to sh*t themselves cause the desk cost savings are going to look rather stupid next to the increase in hardware cost when we're talking about 4000 devices...
     
    anyway glad I've got a place to now rant about how much I hate hot desking.. all our new setup is coming in this weekend.. i'll take a pic.
     
    right now i've got 7 years of cr@p to remove from my desk area.....



  • Oh yeah 'activity based working' that's another high level crap speak phrase I've heard.



  • I've asked how they're measuring benefits realisation, and have just been told I'm a "change challenger".

    LOL fuck that's a new one. I just get told I have an attitude problem because our organisation are a pack of clueless fucking cuntstacks only interested in climbing the corporate ladder, using the same system that got their predecessor up there before shifting out.
     
    I turned up yesterday after two days work from home, and some outsourced fluffybunny had stolen my chair and replaced it with a meeting room chair. Was set up just the way I like it. Fucking cock. If its not back there when I go in Monday* then I'm going to claim back strain and WFH the rest of the week.

    • I'm having a mental health day today. Fuck 'em.


  • the rebellion starts here comrades!
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    As someone from the other side, ie the management wank stains, i can tell you why managers aren't completely honest. Because if you told employees "this will save the company money" they would shit. Half would ask for a payrise (because of the increased profits, you can afford it), a quarter would grumble about the company putting money first, and a quarter would run to Fair Work to lodge some sort of grievance. A sum total of 0% would think "you know, if this makes the company a bit stronger, that's good for all of us". 
     
    And then some fluffybunny would go and lodge a workcover claim, because apparently that's free. 
     
    Fucking employees...



  • the rebellion starts here comrades!
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    As someone from the other side, ie the management wank stains, i can tell you why managers aren't completely honest. Because if you told employees "this will save the company money" they would shit. Half would ask for a payrise (because of the increased profits, you can afford it), a quarter would grumble about the company putting money first, and a quarter would run to Fair Work to lodge some sort of grievance. A sum total of 0% would think "you know, if this makes the company a bit stronger, that's good for all of us". 
     
    And then some fluffybunny would go and lodge a workcover claim, because apparently that's free. 
     
    Fucking employees...

    Just because you are management, does not make you not an employee.. just a sucker slightly higher up the sucker chain who gets your lies from a different source..



  • true i guess, but then that depends on the company you work for.



  • and how high up in management.



  • I've asked how they're measuring benefits realisation, and have just been told I'm a "change challenger".

    Was that said by a smiling HR lady, with a rising intonation indicating the delight that she had a label to pin on you. Look on the back of the label and you'll find in small lettering "obstructive c*nt" and a diary note that "we'll get to that fecker shortly".
     
    It's like kindergarten really, isn't it.
     
    I, on the other hand, have just been practicing chip shots in the lounge with the cat's ping pong balls. I think I might have a refinement to my technique to test outside, so the morning hasn't been wasted. 🙂



  • and how high up in management.

    Not at all. Until you are an owner or on the board.
     
    CEO's for example get shat on all the time, just not so visibly.



  • and the loop then goes to

    true i guess, but then that depends on the company you work for.



  • true i guess, but then that depends on the company you work for.

    That is likely true.



  • And either way, the front line staff don't give a damn - you're simply one of those bastards in management...



  • The irony is when you're working for a global tech company that sells solutions for mobility and flexible work practices, but insists that you are in the office all the time.
     
    It's a trust issue, which happens when senior management are utter fucksticks, so inept at their job that they believe you must be worse. Otherwise, why would they be in charge? The same sort of management that destroys billions of dollars in shareholder value.



  • The irony is when you're working for a global tech company that sells solutions for mobility and flexible work practices, but insists that you are in the office all the time.
     
    It's a trust issue, which happens when senior management are utter fucksticks, so inept at their job that they believe you must be worse. Otherwise, why would they be in charge? The same sort of management that destroys billions of dollars in shareholder value.

    I feel ya, hell, I could do my job at home, but not really because I might goof off or something.


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