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How To Get Rid of the Cubicle? 368

Posted by Zonk
from the i-suggest-a-hammer-and-a-pry-bar dept.
wikinerd writes "How can we get rid of the widely hated cubicle and its ugly cousin, the stressing open-plan office? Some business owners and managers cannot understand the advantages of teleworking, different office layouts, or the morale benefits of private offices with Aeron chairs. There are still people in high positions who seem to think that stuffing a bunch of engineers into a noisy landscaped office is the best way to organize a company. It is not, and we all know it, but can we prove it? How can we communicate to them the fact that living in a groundhog warren is bad not only for the engineers, but also for the organization?"
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How To Get Rid of the Cubicle?

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  • fp (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @03:49AM (#16971552)
    Upper management loves stats; give them stats.
  • Re:fp (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @03:52AM (#16971578)
    i would have got first post, but my boss was walking behind me when I first saw the artical, and I had to hide the /. window..

    I want my own office!
  • by NineNine (235196) on Friday November 24, 2006 @03:55AM (#16971594)
    How can we communicate to them the fact that living in a groundhog warren is bad not only for the engineers, but also for the organization?"

    I would speak to "them" with your voice (mouth, tongue, voal cords, et. al), either in person, or via telephone. Barring that, I would use a written format, such as "email" or "letter", in a lanugage that "them" would readily comprehend.

    Are there some other, hidden, secret forms of communication that I'm missing, here?
  • by NerveGas (168686) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:14AM (#16971698)

        Years ago, our company had an office that was fairly low-rent, and didn't have cubicles. We just set up some desks around the edges of the office space, and some in the middle. One of the coders, in particular, had his desk facing the wall, and everyone in the room could see what was on him monitor.

        This same coder had his email client set to automatically open new messages. Yes, you can guess what it coming - one day, right after he left for lunch, he received some porn spam. Not just any porn spam, but some pretty far-out stuff, the kind that even most people who like porn wouldn't go for. The next person to walk past his desk was the VP of the company...
  • Re:fp (Score:2, Funny)

    by IrquiM (471313) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:19AM (#16971720) Homepage
    Stats are:

    9 of 10 people with office browse the internet for more than 1 hour per day
    The rest doesnt know how to open the browser
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:22AM (#16971744)
    Private Offices Used for..

    1) Showing higher status
    2) Shagging the Intern/Teenage Junior
    3) Surfing on the internet without being spotted by other employees
    4) Playing music in
    5) Watching TV in
    6) Sleeping in

    Open Plan Offices

    1) being forced to do what you are paid to do as long as someone else is bothered to monitor your activity
    2) Daydreaming about Orgies involving all the teenage interns and juniors until interupted by supervisor for not looking like focused on work
    3) Chair Races when supervisor in toilet
    4) Smelling other people's farts
    5) Organising fag breaks
    6) Discussing last night's TV, night out or spousal problems.

  • by o'reor (581921) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:24AM (#16971760) Journal
    1. Whenever you're on a business trip abroad, buy small plush toys at the airport to make gifts for your co-workers.
    2. When you've done enough trips, everybody has at least one plus toy on its desk
    3. Twice a day (possibly more), when the project manager is out of the room, yell : "PLUUUUUUUUUUUUSH FIGHT !"
    4. Enjoy as the plush toys begin flying around.
    5. If this does not decide your manager to create smaller, separated offices, at least it's a good way to have fun. ;-)
    This is really what happened daily a few years ago when I was working with some 20 other co-workers in an open space lab. Oh, and the fact that most of us were under 30 *did* help us enjoy it ;-)
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:26AM (#16971768)
    Some business owners and managers cannot understand the advantages of teleworking, different office layouts, or the morale benefits of private offices with Aeron chairs.

    Thank god someone dared to say this.

    I've been looking for an just such an environment: where I can stay home, doze in a really comfortable chair with no one around to catch me, completely refuse to interact with team members except via IMs and e-mails on my own passive aggressive schedule and justify my lack of productivity on my home ISP that's like totally unreliable so it's not my fault I wasn't even logged in all morning, let alone working. I'm never going to power level my Warcraft character if I have to keep alt-tabbing out whenever my boss walks by.

    Now when will managers get a clue and realize this kind of shining future would be awesome for my morale!?
  • by BJH (11355) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:32AM (#16971814)
    So he explained this to the VP and the VP went and reamed out the system administrators who'd been slacking off on their maintenance of the spam filters, right?

    Right?
  • by tezbobobo (879983) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:37AM (#16971844) Homepage Journal
    No, you can explain it - you need to be blunter. Like when the narrator in Fight Club is talking about gas powereu guns and such. I find actions speak louder than words and marching from cubicle to cubicle with a semi austomatic shooting people and yelling why you hate cubicles to be effective.
  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary.addres ... ]com ['il.' in > on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:39AM (#16971870)
    Weren't we, just recently, all for OpenOffice?
  • by poopdeville (841677) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:50AM (#16971916)
    As a native Swedish speaker, I am disgusted by your post. The correct way to phrase this is "Bork bork snorf bogley coobical borken".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:53AM (#16971936)
    On the other hand, the worst part about working in cubicles is the same thing-- your neighbor's loud conversation can be annoying and disturb your concentration. The lack of privacy can be annoying.

    That alone defeats any possible benefit of having cubes. Right now, my cube is surrounded by the most annoying people I've ever met.

    One lady can't shut the fuck up, and freaks out about EVERYTHING. Her coffee's getting cold? It's the end of the fucking world! Better tell the person on the phone, or the person in the other cube, or the guy walking by.

    Then there's the guy who has some kind of sinus problem. Enough said.

    And the third person has some disorder where he can't tell the difference between his and other people's business. He feels it's his duty to look over people's shoulder and see what they're doing every time he walks by. Often making comments or asking questions. And god forbid you have a conversation without him. This dim-witted moron forcefully inserts himself into ANY and all conversations within earshot. He has no idea what the conversation is about, but that never stops him from trying to find out. Fucking idiot.

    It'd almost be funny if it weren't driving me crazy 5 days a week.

  • by tttonyyy (726776) on Friday November 24, 2006 @05:31AM (#16972116) Homepage Journal
    At one of the first companies I worked for out of uni, one of my colleagues put something pretty derogatory about a particular manager in an e-mail - and accidentally sent it to that manager. (Must've been thinking his name, subconsciously added it to the list of people in the To: field - who knows?)

    Fortunately for him that manager had just popped out of his office.

    Cue Mission Impossible style assault on that manager's office by the employee in question, in an attempt to delete the e-mail from the manager's e-mail client while remaining hidden in case the manager returned.

    Amazingly, he managed to get away with it!

  • by pakar (813627) on Friday November 24, 2006 @05:54AM (#16972274)
    and.....

    1. Start talking really loud.
    2. Stop taking showers.
    3. Fart atleast once every 10 minutes.

    Good thing here is if you are located very close to your manager :)

  • by MickDownUnder (627418) on Friday November 24, 2006 @06:23AM (#16972466)
    Use SCRUM !!

    Create groups of 5 co-workers strap them together with ropes back to back eliminating the need for chairs or desks.

    Every morning pitch scrums against each other making them run from opposites sides of the office to clash in the middle. The team that manages to push the other team back to their side of the office gets to spend half the day eating coffee and drinking doughnuts, whilst the other team is forced to refactor all the work done by the winning team the previous day.

    I think I should be writting books on this stuff.
  • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Friday November 24, 2006 @06:34AM (#16972556)
    >5) Organising fag breaks
    You've just worried a lot of Americans.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @07:18AM (#16972768)
    You don't by any chance live in America, do you? Heh
  • Re:I Quit (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fred_A (10934) <fred@fredshome.DEGASorg minus painter> on Friday November 24, 2006 @07:27AM (#16972812) Homepage
    I found an easy way was to simply add a ceiling to the cubicles. Instant offices !
    As an added benefit, you can add another layer of cubicles on top of the old ones (employees must provide their own ladder).
  • by Fred_A (10934) <fred@fredshome.DEGASorg minus painter> on Friday November 24, 2006 @07:29AM (#16972824) Homepage
    How can you escape from users if you don't have two doors?? Do you even *work* in IT ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @07:30AM (#16972828)
    plus "escape pods" where people can go be alone with their project
    We have escape pods too. They are called "toilets".
  • by bogado (25959) <bogado@CURIEbogado.net minus physicist> on Friday November 24, 2006 @08:23AM (#16973078) Homepage Journal
    plus "escape pods" where people can go be alone with their project
    We have escape pods too. They are called "toilets".
    What kind of shitty project are you working on?
  • by gsslay (807818) on Friday November 24, 2006 @09:06AM (#16973284)
    If only VP's were able to see the undeniable logic here! It's like they don't understand anything about management!

    I once showed my boss that if everyone was given a month's worth of postage stamps we could work from home for a ridiculously cheap amount compared to renting office space. Envelopes through the mail works out even cheaper than telecommuting!

    Amazingly he didn't think that it would help his company and rejected it. Something daft worries about "no cohesion", "total lack of communication" and "impossible to supervise". Maybe your VP has the same lack of vision.

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