Is This Simple LED Light the Solution to Open Office Productivity?

This new device tells co-workers whether you’re too busy to talk.

There’s no polite way to say, “Leave me the fuck alone” when you’re working in an open office plan. Some people even have a hard time staying away when you’ve got headphones on, which, as we all know, if the universal sign for, “shut up, I’m working”. When there are no walls, there’s nothing to stop Joe from Accounting from stopping by your desk and interrupting your workflow to talk about the fantastic new time-share he bought in Miami Beach.

Could something as simple as this LED light be the solution to your open office woes? The Draugiem Group, a Latvian IT company, is crowd-funding for something they call the “ultimate productivity device”. The Luxafor USB Light Indicator is a small LED light you connect to your computer to let people know whether you’re too fucking busy to hear about the cool trick their dog learned at obediance school last weekend. It’s got a super simple color scheme: green means “I’m available for your work-related inquiries” and red means “go away”.

Workspace designers in the 1950s originally developed the open office space to encourage collaboration, creativity and communication among workers. But if you’ve ever been forced to work in one, you know that the no-cubicles approach is not really conducive to a productive workday. Although 70 percent of offices boast an open office plan, most studies reveal that employees really, really hate them.

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