Point / Counterpoint: The Open Office Concept is the Future of Work vs. I Want to Slap the Shit Out of Everyone I Work With
The following is a Point/Counterpoint debate about the growing controversy around the open office concept. The Point will be presented by your executive team who will never give up their own offices or spend more than a cursory walkthrough of general population. The Counterpoint will be presented by every employee that has been evicted from their cubicle and has to work elbow-to-elbow with their coworkers.
Point: Surviving in our competitive landscape means that we have to collaborate with one another more than ever before.
Counterpoint: I had to buy a $400 pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones because Karen from accounting sits next to me and spends all day chomping through a bag of Cheetos. Seriously, how hard is it to chew with your mouth closed?
Point: In addition to improving collaboration, open offices accelerate the level of communication and face-to-face interaction between employees.
Counterpoint: I spend all day trying to avoid direct eye contact with other employees. The moment I accidentally lift my head up and notice Carl sitting across from me, it’s like an open invitation for him to spend the next 90 minutes to tell me about his weekend cosplay adventures. No one gives a shit about cosplay. No one.
Point: The office is designed to be more efficient and will likely increase productivity.
Counterpoint: Okay, so maybe I did surf the internet every now and then when I was in a cubicle. Now, it feels like Big Brother is standing over my shoulder every working moment. I’ve become paranoid about people walking up behind me. When I was home watching TV after work, my kid tried to sneak up behind me and I reflexively slapped a rear naked choke on him.
Point: The open designs let in more natural light, which improves employee well-being.
Counterpoint: I literally hate everyone in this entire place. I can no longer stomach to look or talk to anyone. I spend my off hours searching for a job that will allow me to work in a small, enclosed place.