Friday, March 10, 2006

Fending Off Dilbert-itis

I was perversely fascinated by the FORTUNE article about the evolution of the workplace and, specifically, the soul-sapping nature of CUBICLES. Apparently even "the father of the cubicle, Robert Propst, hated his invention.

This was a timely read for me because we've doubled our office space in downtown San Francisco; we now occupy two floors in our funky building (next up: world domination). So, the hard part is: you've got a blank slate - what kind of place do you want to work in?

I've visited the offices of agencies around the world. Just in the past 6 months I've grabbed coffee with the principals at firms like bite in San Francisco and Axicom in the U.K. These 2 firms swear by the "bullpen" model for office space - i.e., an open, no-cube environment. Downsides: no privacy, kinda noisy. Upsides: more collaborative and transparent.

But in taking a poll of our SF peeps - despite being a highly collaborative bunch, most seem to still want "a little bit of privacy." I can't blame them. Feels like we all already know too much about our office-mates, eh?

So do you go with something funky like this? Do you go with traditional cubes? What does your spot look like? If you could start over, what would you do differently?


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