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When I worked as a Help author I had my own office - a nice office
with a door, big windows, and a door to a shared 110 sq ft patio
overlooking a brackish river. It was nice. I hardly ever used the
patio, and the shades were often drawn to kill the glare, but the door
I pretty much worked by myself. Writers gave me the content and I had
X hours/days/weeks to generate the Help. I worked with the door closed
and my music relatively loud (Korn, NIN, Metallica and Ministry
usually - If you can't relate, you probably don't want to know). This
environment worked because I didn't need much contact with the rest of
the office and I could work uninterrupted. The office worked for me in
I'm now a tech writer in a doc department. I have a cube. It has 5'
walls that surround 89% of my workspace. All the other writers
surround me. I still listen to my music, though at a low volume (I
hate headphones - but I use them when I need a 'loud break'). I have
to work with others on a regular basis and often bounce ideas and
problems off others in the team. The cube works for me in this
So what am I getting at? A function-defined environment. Cubes aren't
too much cheaper than offices (have you ever priced a cube?). They are
used because they fascilitate employee workspace arrangement in larger
office areas and allow for easier interaction with others on the same
If we had offices in the environment I work in now, I can guarantee
all our doors would be open all the time and at no point in the day
would all of us be in our own offices at the same time.
The idea of a private office is nice, but it all depends on how you
need to work.