Re: IBM is having a Yahoo moment: No more working from home

Subject: Re: IBM is having a Yahoo moment: No more working from home
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: 'Techwr-l' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2017 11:56:41 +0800

There's a classic book that goes over exactly this ground:

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/67825.Peopleware>

It's short, highly relevant to IT teams, very readable, hugely enjoyable. It says exactly what Lin and Chris say below. The sad thing is that it was first published in 1987. This stuff was known 30 years ago.

If you've ever had an uneasy feeling about a workplace, Peopleware probably describes your nameless fear. As I skim the TOC it's clear how many of their concepts I've internalised: flow time, "make a cheeseburger, sell a cheeseburger", no such thing as overtime, the high cost of turnover, "hiring a juggler", "Paging Paul Portulaca!"... it's so vivid, once you've read it you can never go back to not knowing.

IIRC they say that there never was any evidence to show that "open plan" was good for productivity. Literally the only benefits are:

1. It's cheaper.
2. It's more flexible (easier to move partitions than walls--in other
words, cheaper).

In larger organizations the person who decides to go open plan probably has zero experience working in IT or engineering teams. They decide it's worth saving $X on fit out even at the expense of $Y in lost productivity. They do this without knowing what "Y" is. /It's possible they don't even know there is a Y./

Stuart


------------------------------------------------------------------------

*From*: *Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>*
*To*: *"salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com" <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>*
*Date*: *Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:39:44 -0500*

There's been at least one study that suggests that the "open work space
environment" (I had to look that up; yech!) doesn't inspire any more
collaboration than having private offices; however, people who have private
or semi-private offices seem to have far lower levels of stress.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidburkus/2016/06/21/why-your-open-office-workspace-doesnt-work/#4f89804216d0

I miss working at Telcordia. Managers had private offices, and everyone
else had semi-private (2 people per room) offices. Solid cinder block walls
and a solid door. Ah, peace.

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 9:31 AM, Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> ...
>/Further, I just read in the local edition of the Business Review that yet/
>/another company has bought a building and is going to create an open/
>/workspace environment. No thanks./
>
>/At least my HP cubicle afforded some degree of privacy, and it was common/
>/to let team members know when one was "on critical path" (read: don't bug/
>/me right now). From what I've read, all the open workspace does is promote/
>/more slacking off, not desired "team building" (unless that definition has/
>/come to mean playing fraternity house pranks)./

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