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October 09, 2007

The Office

I've had an office a few times in my career but recently I got the office.

It was a sign of status, a symbol that I was one of the heavies at the firm.

A former boss even strolled in, checked the room out, and said "wow, nice pad." Unsaid was that it was better than his.

Good, right?

No!

Offices put barriers -- real and imagined -- to communication with the rest of the department. In the just 5 days I've been in the isolation chamber called an office there have been a handful of incidents that just would not have happend had I been sitting on the floor. My favorite is when a colleague sent me an IM asking if he could come in and ask a question!

Feedburner founder Dick Costolo remarks why an open floor plan (without offices) is preferred. Agilists like their software team to be seated in a common area where people can comingle and communicate without barriers.

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm an Agilist, and will leave the office for the team area.

Posted by gsmith at October 9, 2007 07:04 AM

Comments

Congratulations on giving up the office.

I have been trying to convince an old-timer (developer for the same company for 15+ years) that he should give up his office and join the other developers -- none of whom has an office. I cannot say that the office was the cause of all of it -- he went from developer to hero; then he got an office as a reward; then he lost contact with the other developers; and now has pretty much become irrelevant. Offices are dangerous, especially in companies that do not have a strong culture for communicating in the first place.

Posted by: Craig Cruden at October 10, 2007 02:15 PM