My office recently changed to an open plan (other than for senior management) and I am struggling with it.
It was pitched to us as a way to improve collaboration and foster creativity. When pressed, management acknowledged it also resulted in cost savings.
A few thoughts –
- If we had been told this was, bottom line, a cost saving measure, instead of hearing spin about collaboration, creativity and innovation, would that have made the transition easier? Why the spin?
- As an attorney, my job is to provide legal advice and to discuss sensitive issues. I have real concerns about confidentiality and my client’s willingness to share information with me in an open setting where others may overhear. I could book a conference room (although those are limited), however that extra step may inhibit candid discussions. Call it the PITA factor.
- As an attorney, a good chunk of my job is reading really long documents, which requires a lot of focus. We have headsets but they are not noise canceling (again a cost saving measure). How am I going to function?
- I feel a loss of status in losing my office. I see this in my colleagues as well, moral is not good. While I have an assigned desk, some of my (non-legal) colleagues are “hot desking” – taking what is available. We’ve also been discouraged from personalizing our work area.
- I now have the option to work more from home. I don’t have a home office but have worked from home occasionally in the past. I usually get more done, including the laundry and the dishes =), but feel less connected. In the past I’ve been told face time is important for career advancement and to “lean-in”. (My company is big on buzzwords.) If more people are working from home, what does “leaning in” look like?
- I am an introvert. I am really concerned that I will be less productive and more exhausted at the end of the day.
- Are in person, telephone communications a thing of the past? How concerned are you about what’s in your e-mails?
Have you transitioned to an open office? Any advice, tips? Any advice on working from home? Do you use e-mail extensively or limit its use?