I’m wondering when we can all stop with these open concept, bullshit office spaces… cubicles with low walls, no privacy, limited space for personalization.
Here’s some facts…
So, office designers, it’s time to stand up and be honest. Open concept offices serve only one purpose: to save the company money at the expense of employees. That’s it. Be honest about it! People will likely be more accepting, because at least workers can respect honesty.
Companies, it’s past time you come out and say it too: Yeah, we’re too miserly to build comfortable, effective workspaces for our employees, and if you work here you’ll just have to suck that up, fuck you very much, get in the slave pit and get to work.
Best of all, there’s actually research to back this up! A report from the National Research Council (Canada) “Workstation Design for the Open-Plan Office”, published by the Institute for Research in Construction concludes:
There are many factors to consider in designing a suitable open-plan office environment. Designers, sensitive to varying needs, must weigh the options for each project, taking into account the individual and organizational needs and the practical possibilities in the space. Some design guidelines are as follows:
Avoid generic solutions:
- Design and furnish for specific job requirements
- Enable adjustability and control
- Provide status markers suited to rankand occupation
- Allow personalization
Consider the boundaries:
- Avoid large unbounded groups of workstations
- Keep workstation area in the range of 2.4 m x 2.4 m to 3.6 m x 3.6 m
- Keep panels above 1.37 m where visual privacy is important
- Maximize access to windows and daylight
Clean regularly and perform ongoing maintenance.
This is backed up by another research report: Workstation design for organizational productivity: practical advice based on scientific research findings for the design and management of open-plan offices, published 2004.