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Revelation
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Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:07 am

Ref: https://apple.slashdot.org/story/17/08/ ... eport-says

During a new episode of The Talk Show podcast on Daring Fireball, John Gruber touched on the topic of the open floor plans that Apple has implemented within its new campus, Apple Park. A WSJ profile of Jony Ive, where he talked about Apple Park, mentioned how programmers, engineers, and other employees had already expressed concerns about working in such an environment. Gruber shared what he has heard:
I heard that when floor plans were announced, that there was some meeting with [Apple Vice President] Johny Srouji's team. He's in charge of Apple's silicon, the A10, the A11, all of their custom silicon. Obviously a very successful group at Apple, and a large growing one with a lot on their shoulders. When he [Srouji] was shown the floor plans, he was more or less just "F--- that, f--- you, f--- this, this is bulls---." And they built his team their own building, off to the side on the campus ... My understanding is that that building was built because Srouji was like, 'F--- this, my team isn't working like this.'"

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. My last workplace moved from traditional cubicles to 'open floor concept'. I was also dropping f-bombs when the reality of that s---hole sank in.

It was a screw job from the beginning. It was clear it was a big push from the company's facilities side to squeeze more people into less space, regardless of the impact on productivity. A bunch of real estate consultants were hired to do the transition, but they were just there to take the abuse when people realized what a screw job it was. They pretended to take our input into consideration, but each time we saw updated floor plans it was more people in less space.

When we moved in, everything was awful. Basically your "workspace" was a wedge of a semi-circle just barely big enough to avoid rubbing shoulders with the people next to you. It was like working in a call center. In fact that was my nickname for the new office, the call center.

They made a new 'collaboration zone' where there were couches and microwaves, but because of the 'open plan' the minute someone cooked some stinky fish for lunch the whole floor stank. Oh, by the way, one 'feature' was no more trash cans, so we could all protect the environment, yada yada. People were expected to bring any trash to the 'collaboration zone'. Instead, people just left it everywhere.

Very glad I'm out of that workplace these days... Also glad I'm not finding myself in that worker's paradise called "Apple Park".
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tommy1808
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:38 am

Revelation wrote:
Very glad I'm out of that workplace these days... Also glad I'm not finding myself in that worker's paradise called "Apple Park".


Some of the nicest workplaces i´ve been to and many winners of great place/best place to work competitions use open floor plans in their offices. If you don´t use it to get more people in, take care of privacy (strategically placed plants and stuff) and noise control, that can be excellent work.
But when it is just "remove the cubicle walls", it must be horrible.

best regards
Thomas
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:35 am

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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:59 am

When I worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., we went through three iterations of office cramming. I went from having a private office, to sharing one (somewhat larger) with a single coworker, to sharing the same office with two coworkers. We never had "open offices" while I was there.

The best arrangement, during my last six months, was "telecommuting" or working from home. I only had to go in to Washington once every two weeks to sign my time sheets. I worked much harder and for longer hours, and loved it. I was online and logged in for about 12 hours a day and they could have counted my keystrokes if they wanted to. All my "users" had my phone number and they got immediate service whenever they wanted it.

Working in my underwear (usually also in a bathrobe) was wonderful. A well-stocked kitchen was just a few feet away.

And my "space" did not cost the Federal Government $35 per square foot annually (1995).
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:10 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Very glad I'm out of that workplace these days... Also glad I'm not finding myself in that worker's paradise called "Apple Park".


Some of the nicest workplaces i´ve been to and many winners of great place/best place to work competitions use open floor plans in their offices. If you don´t use it to get more people in, take care of privacy (strategically placed plants and stuff) and noise control, that can be excellent work.
But when it is just "remove the cubicle walls", it must be horrible.

best regards
Thomas


I've worked in semi-open floor areas before with just low walls around the desks to keep sound down. Much better than a freaking cubicle farm.

Also noted is nobody is more resistant to change than a tenured employee.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:26 am

All these jobs could be outsourced to India.

BobPatterson wrote:
When I worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., we went through three iterations of office cramming. I went from having a private office, to sharing one (somewhat larger) with a single coworker, to sharing the same office with two coworkers. We never had "open offices" while I was there.

The best arrangement, during my last six months, was "telecommuting" or working from home. I only had to go in to Washington once every two weeks to sign my time sheets. I worked much harder and for longer hours, and loved it. I was online and logged in for about 12 hours a day and they could have counted my keystrokes if they wanted to. All my "users" had my phone number and they got immediate service whenever they wanted it.

Working in my underwear (usually also in a bathrobe) was wonderful. A well-stocked kitchen was just a few feet away.

And my "space" did not cost the Federal Government $35 per square foot annually (1995).



But how do people verify that you are really working? If you are in a civil service job, the public has a right to expect you are in the office.
In my work, you are expected to be there, work as long as required and no overtime or flex time, and if you don't want to do that, then get out. Frank and fearless leadership.

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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:53 am

cpd wrote:
All these jobs could be outsourced to India.

BobPatterson wrote:
When I worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., we went through three iterations of office cramming. I went from having a private office, to sharing one (somewhat larger) with a single coworker, to sharing the same office with two coworkers. We never had "open offices" while I was there.

The best arrangement, during my last six months, was "telecommuting" or working from home. I only had to go in to Washington once every two weeks to sign my time sheets. I worked much harder and for longer hours, and loved it. I was online and logged in for about 12 hours a day and they could have counted my keystrokes if they wanted to. All my "users" had my phone number and they got immediate service whenever they wanted it.

Working in my underwear (usually also in a bathrobe) was wonderful. A well-stocked kitchen was just a few feet away.

And my "space" did not cost the Federal Government $35 per square foot annually (1995).



But how do people verify that you are really working? .


You can judge that pretty well by the work you get done, If you can't go by that, you are a useless drain no matter if you are in the office or home.

Best regards
Thomas
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:56 am

tommy1808 wrote:
cpd wrote:
All these jobs could be outsourced to India.

BobPatterson wrote:
When I worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., we went through three iterations of office cramming. I went from having a private office, to sharing one (somewhat larger) with a single coworker, to sharing the same office with two coworkers. We never had "open offices" while I was there.

The best arrangement, during my last six months, was "telecommuting" or working from home. I only had to go in to Washington once every two weeks to sign my time sheets. I worked much harder and for longer hours, and loved it. I was online and logged in for about 12 hours a day and they could have counted my keystrokes if they wanted to. All my "users" had my phone number and they got immediate service whenever they wanted it.

Working in my underwear (usually also in a bathrobe) was wonderful. A well-stocked kitchen was just a few feet away.

And my "space" did not cost the Federal Government $35 per square foot annually (1995).



But how do people verify that you are really working? .


You can judge that pretty well by the work you get done, If you can't go by that, you are a useless drain no matter if you are in the office or home.

Best regards
Thomas


Nah, you need millions of reports, statistics and monitoring systems. Put tracking chips on workers too, must tap off with their finger print to leave the desk. (note sarcasm).
 
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:38 am

I love my cubicle too much to give it up. I need 3 walls and I don't want to share my space with someone else.

That being said, it all comes down to personality. There are people who are friendly and get along well with others enough to employ an open-office setting. In our building, a couple of folks have arranged their cubicles to make them into a larger cube enough for 2 people to work there. In one section, they have 4 people across a large section.

My cubicle used to be a 2 person cubicle but my back would be facing the entrance so I wasn't too thrilled after a few months. I rearranged it and placed a wall in between the desks such that now it's back to a 1 person cubicle. Now the opening is on my left.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:42 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Some of the nicest workplaces i´ve been to and many winners of great place/best place to work competitions use open floor plans in their offices. If you don´t use it to get more people in, take care of privacy (strategically placed plants and stuff) and noise control, that can be excellent work.
But when it is just "remove the cubicle walls", it must be horrible.

It wasn't just "remove the cubicle walls" it was "remove the cubicle walls and put 3 people in the same space that used to hold 1".

Closest picture to what the system looked like that I can find online is:

Image

That setup holds 12 people in the space that probably used to have 3 cubicles so a 3:1 factor is about right.

My point is that it doesn't help productivity to do this, it's all about saving real estate. If the company had been honest with us and said "we can't afford to keep building office buildings so we're going to have to optimize the office for people per square foot -- how can we do this as a team?" it would be one thing.

Instead we got hot air blown up our butts about how it was going to "foster collaboration" and next to nothing done to mitigate loss of productivity due to high noise and constant interruptions.

coolian2 wrote:
I've worked in semi-open floor areas before with just low walls around the desks to keep sound down. Much better than a freaking cubicle farm.

Also noted is nobody is more resistant to change than a tenured employee.

I'm not saying a cubicle farm is utopia. I'm just saying let's be honest about what goals the transition is trying to achieve (save on real estate costs) and then work out how to do it whilst reducing the hit to productivity.

As you say having low walls helps keep the sound down. I also think the walls should be high enough to prevent eye contact while in the seated position yet be somewhat translucent. I kept making eye contact with co-workers and found that to be distracting and they told me the same.

We had small walls similar to the ones in the picture but they didn't really solve the noise issue. The end result was almost everyone ended up getting headsets so they could block out the noise.

The end result was it did not foster collaboration. Everyone had headphones on and stared at their screen to avoid distracting eye contact. Because of the open floor concept, anyone who had to talk because they were on a conference call was heard across the room.

The only goal achieved was more people in less space, at the cost of a loss of productivity and a lot of employee dissatisfaction.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:53 am

cpd wrote:
But how do people verify that you are really working? If you are in a civil service job, the public has a right to expect you are in the office.
In my work, you are expected to be there, work as long as required and no overtime or flex time, and if you don't want to do that, then get out. Frank and fearless leadership.

I've seen telecommuting work well, and I've seen it fail miserably.

Certain people just aren't productive when left to their own devices. They really need an office environment with its change of scenery and peer pressures to be productive.

So the team has to be comprised of those who can work well on their own.

And then everyone has to have the right collaboration tools in place. Something like WebEx with a common messaging tool (Jabber) with presence information (so you know who can and cannot be contacted) and easy-to-set-up online meetings (scheduled or unscheduled, with or without video). And a mandate to use those tools so team members are reachable during working hours.

BobPatterson wrote:
When I worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., we went through three iterations of office cramming. I went from having a private office, to sharing one (somewhat larger) with a single coworker, to sharing the same office with two coworkers. We never had "open offices" while I was there.

The best arrangement, during my last six months, was "telecommuting" or working from home. I only had to go in to Washington once every two weeks to sign my time sheets. I worked much harder and for longer hours, and loved it. I was online and logged in for about 12 hours a day and they could have counted my keystrokes if they wanted to. All my "users" had my phone number and they got immediate service whenever they wanted it.

Working in my underwear (usually also in a bathrobe) was wonderful. A well-stocked kitchen was just a few feet away.

And my "space" did not cost the Federal Government $35 per square foot annually (1995).


What I found works well is some days where all team members all came into the office on certain days so at least some face-to-face time happened. It really helped foster informal communications and team bonding. I can imagine once every two weeks is enough in some roles, but I'd think in my role it'd probably be better once a week.

In the cases that didn't work, people came into the office on random days and it was guess work as to who would be in on a given day, so if you wanted to have informal communication it was all hit or miss.

cpd wrote:
Nah, you need millions of reports, statistics and monitoring systems. Put tracking chips on workers too, must tap off with their finger print to leave the desk. (note sarcasm).

I used to work on software that was originally used by call centers. It was depressing how many metrics this stuff would churn out. It was depressing to think that other people were being put under stress based on those numbers.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:59 am

A good article on this topic:

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/201701 ... r-memories

Numerous companies have embraced the open office — about 70% of US offices are open concept — and by most accounts, very few have moved back into traditional spaces with offices and doors. But research that we’re 15% less productive, we have immense trouble concentrating and we’re twice as likely to get sick in open working spaces, has contributed to a growing backlash against open offices.


For many of us, it’s the noise that disturbs us the most. Professors at the University of Sydney found that nearly 50% of people with a completely open office floorplan, and nearly 60% of people in cubicles with low walls, are dissatisfied with their sound privacy. Only 16% of people in private offices said the same.


And it turns out our best work is done when we have total focus, says Augustin. We can work in a busy space, but the final product won’t be as good as if we are in a quiet locale. “[It’s] inefficient,” she says. “It’s a shame to waste people by not giving them a place that supports what they actually do.”
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:42 pm

Open floor plans are highly counterproductive unless you are in conferences all day with the people around you.

In our offices we have a solution for open spaces. They are called Conference Rooms/break out rooms. They give people the chance to get together and exchange ideas as loudly or detailed as needed without interrupting everyone else. I would tell management to go stick it, if we were ever to go to an open office plan.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:06 pm

casinterest wrote:
Open floor plans are highly counterproductive unless you are in conferences all day with the people around you.

In our offices we have a solution for open spaces. They are called Conference Rooms/break out rooms. They give people the chance to get together and exchange ideas as loudly or detailed as needed without interrupting everyone else. I would tell management to go stick it, if we were ever to go to an open office plan.

It's interesting how the model has flipped. In the old days people understood that the many workers needed to focus/concentrate to get their jobs done, and if one needed to collaborate, one needed to take the discussion to a conference room to allow others to be able to stay productive. Now this new model presumes that the main aspect of getting your job done is to collaborate so it's OK to make as much noise as you want to.

The problem is that a lot of people do need to be on the telephone these days to partners/collaborators in other locations for long periods of time. In theory they could take these calls in a break out room, but in the real world most prefer to stay at their desks so they can work on one thing while listening in on the meeting. They can't afford the time to go to a break out room and sit and listen to the conversation full time. It's so common now to ask someone a question then find out they were doing something else and have tuned out the conversation so you have to bring them back up to speed on the conversation and ask your question again.

It seems to me it would be ideal to put those people who spend most of their day on the phone in one part of the building and put those who need to focus in another, but that's not too practical because many times the talkers and the thinkers are doing different jobs on the same team.

So, we're back to the need to have work environments that do at least something to stop the spread of noise. In the real world what I see is that people put on headphones and crank up the music to block out their co-workers. I find that to be far from optimal.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:44 pm

Some of our facilities are moving to open-office. It's awful. I'm glad I'm not at those facilities, but I probably will be eventually since my building is probably going to close at sometime in the indefinite future. There's no point in moving my building to open office considering our vacancy rate is so ludicrously high.

I work from home a lot to avoid my 2-hour roundtrip commute. I think I am more productive, in some ways, at home than I am at the office. Eliminating that 2-hour commute allows me to work 2 more hours per day without feeling badly about it (like feeling like I'll get home at a horrible hour and have no time for myself for the day). Especially in the last few months, I've had many days where I've had to deal with issues well after normal hours, so working from home has helped me keep sanity and a modicum of job satisfaction. It does blow to work on a laptop all day instead of having a desk with a monitor, docking station, mouse, etc. but that's a small price to pay.

We are especially bad at open office because we don't do a good job of consolidating groups to be near each other. Most of our buildings are haphazardly populated by people. You just stick people wherever there's an open cube/office/desk. Maybe at some point in the distant past groups were together, but now we're all over the place. Having the "collaboration" aspect of the open office doesn't help when no one in a 100-foot radius actually works in the same group/department.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:51 pm

cjg225 wrote:
We are especially bad at open office because we don't do a good job of consolidating groups to be near each other.


That is why we move about once per year to adjust to tasks and projects, and have spare desks with docking station, screens and such in any office, so people can move to their task/project with ease.
With the next move our CEO along with one third of the staff will give up having a fixed office at all.

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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:46 pm

Revelation wrote:
"Apple Park".

The worst thing is if they are doing it for aesthetics: "the design is intended to be open, you are to be able to see through the space from the outer glass wall to the inner...." I remember hearing some interview where some designer said something like that. I know Jobs insisted on the silly curved glass walls and after his death staff enforced that it be kept (in keeping with his dream or somesuch nonsense). This was also the case with a lot of the height, to keep it open and airy and inviting.... A great hall where people mingle and come together when they have other choices is one thing but work and effectiveness for work tasks is another. I absolutely stand by the need for good design and layout of work space, to make it ergonomic, cooperative, inviting, and effective. Even inspirational and beautiful, that is all important. But work is a place you are required to be and to participate, that creates its own issues, you don't get to choose who you are with or next too (most of the time).

I talk loud, and when I am on the phone I am loud, just naturally. When I was in cube-ville it was OK, my cube mates still sometime asked me to quiet down. We all worked it out and moved things around to make it better for everyone and all was well. We would have discussions over the walls as needed and shared things as we heard what what going on (ground hog events were always fun...). Cubes provide some limited privacy only, it is not like they defeat cooperation. Offices are fine too, but again need to be done right, layout is always important. Open floor plans are fine when carefully thought out and implemented for the people that will actually be there and work next to each other. But it is exceedingly difficult to accommodate all the different types of people, from louder people (like me) to fidgeters or pen clickers or toe tappers, to clutter-lovers (desks with some theme or pictures everywhere or plants etc.)., to people who stand and shift and move all the time, to people who demand silence, or whatever distraction affects you or distracting thing you do.

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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:59 pm

cpd wrote:
In my work, you are expected to be there, work as long as required and no overtime or flex time, and if you don't want to do that, then get out. Frank and fearless leadership.

You'd not manage well in my place.


In my line of work(business strategy consulting) the only person who absolutely positively has to be in the office is the guy who cleans the toilets.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:42 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Very glad I'm out of that workplace these days... Also glad I'm not finding myself in that worker's paradise called "Apple Park".


Some of the nicest workplaces i´ve been to and many winners of great place/best place to work competitions use open floor plans in their offices. If you don´t use it to get more people in, take care of privacy (strategically placed plants and stuff) and noise control, that can be excellent work.
But when it is just "remove the cubicle walls", it must be horrible.

best regards
Thomas


But in order to unplug / log out and move as I move within the "flexible work area," I would need at a minimum an additional hour per day to do my work. The additional distractions and noise slowing down my team's work would also impose steep costs on the company's bottom line.

It might be worthwhile to create "political display nonsense areas" and have a serious work environment build elsewhere at additional cost.
 
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:43 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Very glad I'm out of that workplace these days... Also glad I'm not finding myself in that worker's paradise called "Apple Park".


Some of the nicest workplaces i´ve been to and many winners of great place/best place to work competitions use open floor plans in their offices. If you don´t use it to get more people in, take care of privacy (strategically placed plants and stuff) and noise control, that can be excellent work.
But when it is just "remove the cubicle walls", it must be horrible.

best regards
Thomas


But in order to unplug / log out and move as I move within the "flexible work area," I would need at a minimum an additional hour per day to do my work. The additional distractions and noise slowing down my team's work would also impose steep costs on the company's bottom line.

It might be worthwhile to create "political display nonsense areas" where people can eat pears and sit on beanbag chairs, and have a serious work environment build elsewhere at additional cost.
 
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:49 pm

So what is the norm in America for this, how many sqm per desk? In The Netherlands the "norm" is about 1:19m2, that includes everything, so bathrooms, corridors, reception, conference rooms, server rooms etc. If I would develop an office-building from scratch, that would be my estimate, so an office for 100 people should be 1.900m2, etc.
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:23 pm

cpd wrote:
All these jobs could be outsourced to India.
But how do people verify that you are really working? If you are in a civil service job, the public has a right to expect you are in the office.

One would think that the public want to know that the work is getting done versus seeing someone at the desk, especially in government jobs where offices are staffed to the hilt and jobs still don't get done on time.
 
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:58 pm

cjg225 wrote:
We are especially bad at open office because we don't do a good job of consolidating groups to be near each other.

As above, it's good to have people on the same team close to each other, but (at least in my area, software engineering) the grunts doing the work largely need a very quiet space to focus, whereas the managers spend most of their day on the phone dialed into meetings or talking to other managers, and the senior design types seem to do about 50% focusing and 50% talking. Therefore it's hard to put everyone in the same space and be productive. In the old days the managers had offices so their phone calls didn't bother others, and the senior design types usually took their calls in conference rooms, or made sure to not raise their voices so they didn't bother others.

As we all know from day to day life, if two sets of people are in close proximity are having two different conversations, each tends to raise their voice in order to be heard, and before you know it, everyone is talking very loud. When I worked in the open concept area, that behavior happened all the time.

tommy1808 wrote:
That is why we move about once per year to adjust to tasks and projects, and have spare desks with docking station, screens and such in any office, so people can move to their task/project with ease.
With the next move our CEO along with one third of the staff will give up having a fixed office at all.

The BBC article above says:

What’s more, certain open spaces can negatively impact our memory. This is especially true for hotdesking, an extreme version of open plan working where people sit wherever they want in the work place, moving their equipment around with them.

We retain more information when we sit in one spot, says Sally Augustin, an environmental and design psychologist in La Grange Park, Illinois. It’s not so obvious to us each day, but we offload memories — often little details — into our surroundings, she says.

These details — which could be anything from a quick idea we wanted to share to a colour change on a brochure we’re working on — can only be recalled in that setting.


Good thing your CEO will have lots of minions coming to and fro to help him/her recall their thoughts. As for the rest of us, not so much...

Dutchy wrote:
So what is the norm in America for this, how many sqm per desk?

No idea. To me a reasonable standard is that from my seated position I can swing my arms around and not contact a co-worker. At my last workplace this was not true.

par13del wrote:
cpd wrote:
All these jobs could be outsourced to India.
But how do people verify that you are really working? If you are in a civil service job, the public has a right to expect you are in the office.

One would think that the public want to know that the work is getting done versus seeing someone at the desk, especially in government jobs where offices are staffed to the hilt and jobs still don't get done on time.

From what I've seen in US high tech, a big reason why tech workers don't complain vigorously about their new work space arrangement is because of the fear of offshoring. What's interesting about this Apple situation is that these folks largely aren't at risk of having the work offshored, so they are able to complain.

The 'butts in seats' thing is real. I know most managers just feel more comfortable when they know the butts are in the seats. However these days they don't seem to care if the butts are local or offshored. To them, a butt is a butt.
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treetreeseven
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:13 pm

Having worked in software, which requires uninterrupted focus, open-plan and "bullpen" offices had a drastic negative impact on my productivity, and most of the other workers hated them as well, not that it made a difference to the C-suite dolts.

Noise. Motion. Eye contact as mentioned. A large increase in people coming over to ask random questions which incur a LARGE context switch penalty when I am trying to do my job. Imagine being in the middle of tracing an elusive bug 25 levels deep in the call stack when somebody wanders by to exchange pleasantries. That can easily waste 15 minutes or more to get all the information back in my head, something which takes a great deal of effort. I eventually unilaterally moved my workstation to a disused conference table as far from the distractions as I could get. Management did not pursue their mild objections - it helped that I use a blinding array of lights to control my circadian rhythm, something which is only a problem in open or semi-open workspaces.

Software developers in these situations have an almost 100% use rate of over-ear headphones, often with a noise canceling feature, and it's still not enough. No wonder they are pissed at Apple. It's *always* someone who doesn't do any actual engineering work who is pushing for this crap.


cpd wrote:
But how do people verify that you are really working?

With competent management :lol:

cpd wrote:
If you are in a civil service job, the public has a right to expect you are in the office.

No, they have a right to expect that the work gets done. It is not the same thing.

cpd wrote:
In my work, you are expected to be there, work as long as required and no overtime or flex time, and if you don't want to do that, then get out. Frank and fearless leadership.

You'd not manage well in my place.

Nor would many have the slightest interest in doing so.

The butts-in-seats mentality is fast going the way of the dinosaur along with the aging management types who still subscribe to it, and it can't happen soon enough.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:19 pm

treetreeseven wrote:
cpd wrote:
But how do people verify that you are really working?

With competent management :lol:


:checkmark:

treetreeseven wrote:
cpd wrote:
If you are in a civil service job, the public has a right to expect you are in the office.

No, they have a right to expect that the work gets done. It is not the same thing.


:checkmark: :checkmark:

treetreeseven wrote:
cpd wrote:
In my work, you are expected to be there, work as long as required and no overtime or flex time, and if you don't want to do that, then get out. Frank and fearless leadership.

You'd not manage well in my place.


Nor would many have the slightest interest in doing so.

The butts-in-seats mentality is fast going the way of the dinosaur along with the aging management types who still subscribe to it, and it can't happen soon enough.
[/quote]

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

Who cares if you are there 1 hour or 8 hours or 10 hours, if you get the job done well, all is fine. Output more important then input.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:38 pm

cpd wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
cpd wrote:
All these jobs could be outsourced to India.

But how do people verify that you are really working? .


You can judge that pretty well by the work you get done, If you can't go by that, you are a useless drain no matter if you are in the office or home.

Best regards
Thomas

Nah, you need millions of reports, statistics and monitoring systems. Put tracking chips on workers too, must tap off with their finger print to leave the desk. (note sarcasm).

For certain kinds of workers it is very easy to measure both the quality and quantity of work delivered whether remotely or in an office. Same measuring systems. However, the best tracking system is often reports from the users or clients that a remote worker supports.

There are also many kinds of jobs where physical presence is mandatory.

But almost anyone whose work is accomplished mainly on a computer (gathering and entering data, analyzng it, creating reports (computer programming) and so forth) can do so remotely. Much of this kind of work is performed for American companies and governments remotely from places such as India and other lower-wage countries.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:43 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Who cares if you are there 1 hour or 8 hours or 10 hours, if you get the job done well, all is fine. Output more important then input.

The problem is that if you did an 8 hour job in 4 hours, the ideal thing would be to find work to fill the remaining 4 hours and not charge a full day's work when you only worked half of it.

I personally don't like remote work because there are to many distractions and I end up doing less work than I wanted. I prefer to be in the office, even if I'm the only one there. But this mentality also helps with accountability: my manager sees the work I do and I can justify overtime due to being all over the place instead of twiddling my thumbs for most of the day.
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Tugger
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:54 pm

My one issue with "butts in the seat" is that I very much have found that it is critically important for people to be together regularly in a standardized fashion. I am fine with work from home or remote offices but the exchange and chemistry that occurs with people together is very helpful. Even with "loners", I have seen working together with other create more than when people are by themselves. And I have found it very important to be able to walk over to that engineers location if I need to discuss something and check what they needs are (and vice versa).

So for my company I support work at home if needed, as long as the work gets done I'm good. To allow for life flexibility we have "core hours" that people are to be here for (9-4) so meetings can be planned easily etc. and I provide laptop&docks so work location can move as needed without much interruption. You can work remotely pretty much anytime but I want people here normally, working together, communicating, relating to those they work with.

If you have a singular task this may not be so but I have never worked in a place where I do only one thing. But this is me, and my experiences, in my type of work.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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cpd
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:31 pm

Revelation wrote:
cpd wrote:
Nah, you need millions of reports, statistics and monitoring systems. Put tracking chips on workers too, must tap off with their finger print to leave the desk. (note sarcasm).

I used to work on software that was originally used by call centers. It was depressing how many metrics this stuff would churn out. It was depressing to think that other people were being put under stress based on those numbers.


True. What you do is use those numbers to get the team to meet KPIs, and then when they meet the KPI easily enough, then you downsize by one or two people and then expect the rest to meet the same KPIs and SLAs and so on. I've seen it myself - it doesn't work. People get annoyed and find another job.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:30 pm

Apple park: 12,000employees with 260,000 square meters or 21m2 per employee, nothing to be ashamed of, not that extreme nowadays.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Park
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dtw2hyd
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:31 pm

Probably 100-150 designers and engineers are critical to Apple. Some may not be in these parks, but somewhere in Isreal. Rest all are fluff. I am sure Apple takes good care of those 150.
 
Flighty
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:50 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Probably 100-150 designers and engineers are critical to Apple. Some may not be in these parks, but somewhere in Isreal. Rest all are fluff. I am sure Apple takes good care of those 150.


I would say Apple is already totally subverting them by larding on thousands of highly paid do-nothings. Been there done that. I've been a 150 and a lardy do-nothing. Guess which pays more.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:35 pm

My wife and I both work remotely from our home full-time for a company based in suburban Philadelphia.

We LOVE working at home. Off at 3:00 every day and off to the gym, store, etc. By 5:30 - 6:00, we are done doing everything we need/want to on most days and get to spend a lot of quality time together.

I wouldn't rule out returning to an office setting for the right position, but the flexibility of working remotely is impossible to beat.
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Aesma
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:24 pm

I've only known open spaces. Cubicles seem horrible to me, like being in a box. I would only agree to one if it had glass walls.

My desktop is big enough for three computer screens, the computer itself (laptop), 2 desk phones and a videophone, so big enough. My colleagues are just next or in front of me.

The higher ups that have private offices are the ones who need it the less I feel. They're not there most of the time, and when they're there, they should be in the middle of their teams to actually see and hear what's going on. Meanwhile the office could be a room where people go when they need that environment to work better (complex engineering stuff, I can understand, for example).

As for call centers, part of my job is to set up some small ones for the company, until now most of the managers only cared about a few metrics, but since an increase of complaints about the biggest one, they're asking me to come up with a batshit crazy number of statistics to hit the poor hotliners with, I'm not sure they'll get the expected result, I envision a lot of resignations (they already have a high turnover).

Finally telework, for me it would be great, I'm losing my time at work anyway, so at home it would be music blaring, feet in the pool, or something like that ! My problem currently is that I live so close to my workplace that telework is not on the table, so basically I need to move to the boonies, then it will be possible.
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Kiwirob
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Re: Apple Employees Rebelling Against Open Floor Plan at 'Apple Park'

Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:56 pm

cpd wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
cpd wrote:
All these jobs could be outsourced to India.




But how do people verify that you are really working? .


You can judge that pretty well by the work you get done, If you can't go by that, you are a useless drain no matter if you are in the office or home.

Best regards
Thomas


Nah, you need millions of reports, statistics and monitoring systems. Put tracking chips on workers too, must tap off with their finger print to leave the desk. (note sarcasm).


Its happeneing already called, staff badges with rfid chips and readers in the lighting to track everyone.

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