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Why people hate working at offices and what to do with it.

This episode was interesting to work on. Turns out offices are wonderful to poke fun at.

Here is some of the research I did for the episode. Some of it has to do with the open plan office, which is not the same as cubicles. Open plan offices don’t have the cubicle walls (obviously) and are even worse for productivity than the cubicle farms. 

Jason Fried started a company called Basecamp, which is a hugely and (at least in the web design industry)  project management tool helping them to manage projects and collaborate with clients.

He has a TedX talk with nearly a million views on why people don’t like going to offices. Click here

Oliver Baxter quoted Gallup’s research. I’ve used the same research in my consulting practice. They have a lot of tools and interventions that you can get from them. Here is a report on their 2016 findings.

Oliver Baxter works with the Herman Miller Insight Group, which is responsible for the commissioning, overseeing and presenting of Insights into the latest thinking in workplace design and associated issues. The subjects covered include Happiness in the workplace, Generations at Work, Creativity in the Workplace, Agile Working and the Psychology of Collaboration. He tweets at @HMInsightMEA.

Here are the links he promised.

Click on the links for Herman Miller’s “Living Office”, or case studies here (Mass Design Group), here (Slack and Company) and here (Tavistock).


Case studies:   

Here’s their paper on how to catalyze your workplace for growth (and remember his tip: 20% spike in engagement by letting people work from home one day a week). 


Geoffrey James wrote an article in Fast Company about the open plan office. https://www.fastcompany.com/90285582/everyone-hates-open-plan-offices-heres-why-they-still-exist

In the article he links to another piece he wrote back in 2016 on how implementing the wrong office design is like stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/hr/2016/open-office-plans-are-a-lot-less-cost-effective-than-you-may-think

And I commissioned office comedy from Josh Murphy. He’s on twitter at @joshmurphy

For productivity coaching, design thinking workshops and strategy sessions, contact erichv@stratervation.com

If you want an idea covered by the podcast, please mail ideas@doesthatevenwork.com

Oh: And if you wanted to hear more from Claire Roussel, she’s no longer in academia and didn’t want to post her social media links.

Additional reading.

The Ladders is an excellent on-line magazine, really brilliant, for all things work-related. https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/report-working-anywhere-but-your-desk-makes-you-more-effective

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The latest episode of the Skeptical Executive podcast

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