26 November 2013

Open-Office Snake Oil

The open-office plan was never intended to improve access, spark creativity, foster innovation or foment collaboration. Open-office is command and control owners asking,
How can we shave overhead and, as a bonus, demean our workforce?
Open-office is a physically recorded testament to the wholesale disregard for people producing wealth for others. Open-office is yet another depravation milestone in the spiraling degradation of the middle class workforce.
"I had an office. Now I don’t."
- Jason Feiffer

An office landscape floor plan

Cubicle Plan
My first gig out of engineering school I was given a private office overlooking the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis (circa 1989). Since then my creature comforts have been steadily replaced with reminders not to get too comfortable.

Today I am a contract software developer wedged next to a load-bearing column sitting on a bed of razors. I have had to furnish my own MacBook which is set up on the employer's folding table where I am working madly to row the boat for the fat, dumb & disengaged.

Sure I've had gigs were I'm allowed to work from home, but I value employers who still provide workspace for my team. I half-jokingly wonder if my next engagement letter will read,
"Contractor must provide his own MacBook, chair, internet access, pens, paper and workspace because Ownership is short-sighted, risk averse, and greedily milking every penny of the coffers dry."
Some oppose an open-office plan because they find their silent-farting, loud-talking coworkers off putting. Not me. I love my co-workers. Unlike the fat, dumb & disengaged who own this hell hole, we get shit done.

The raison d'ĂȘtre for open-office is it's cheaper & it fleeces the last shred of worker dignity. I love collaborating with my teammates, but open-office layouts have the viscosity of bean counting snake oil.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting.