Re: Do Technical Writers Deserve Their Own Office?

Subject: Re: Do Technical Writers Deserve Their Own Office?
From: "Jeanne A. E. DeVoto" <jaed -at- BEST -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 13:27:12 -0700

At 7:44 AM -0700 4/16/98, Debra Mazo wrote:
>Our Documentation Group is having a hard time justifying private offices
>for technical writers to Product Development. We need some strong
>reasons to justify that we are different than developers and work more
>productively in a quiet working space, especially when we performing
>editing duties.

Well, the most powerful reason is the one you just noted: producitivity.

However, if, as I gather, your company doesn't see fit to provide a quiet
place to work for developers, the chances are extremely slim that it will
do so for technical writers. The same arguments apply to both groups -
developers are no "different" in this; both tasks require periods of
concentration and benefit from the availability of a space where that
concentration can be indulged without interruption - but your company
seemingly has decided that increased productivity is not worth the cost of

In environments like these, in my personal experience, most people seem to
end up staying late, coming early, coming in on weekends, or going home
when they want to get some actual work done. Information exchange and
informal meetings are important, of course, but eventually you need to sit
down and write, and I write, oh, perhaps a fourth as much in an hour in a
noisy cubicle with frequent interruptions as I can get done in the same
hour in reasonable privacy and quiet.

jeanne a. e. devoto ~ jaed -at- best -dot- com
Morning people may be respected, but night people are feared.

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