GOOD

A Case for the Workplace Cocoon

Yet another covetable anti-open office format invention

Meet Brody. Image courtesy Steelcase.

There aren’t enough impassioned op-eds nor time in the day to accurately convey how much I loathe the open office format. It sabotages productivity and privacy, enabling free roaming coworkers to ensnare you in long-winded stories and paranoid bosses to butt into whatever is or isn’t on your screen. And despite being proven largely ineffective and distracting, companies keep eagerly knocking down the walls, clumping workers together often with little thought given to what individual workers need to succeed and touting “transparency” and “collaboration” above all.

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It’s Not Just You, Your Office is Shrinking

The tyranny of open office plans means less space per worker.

Photo by Flickr user John.

Capitalism has found a way to make your 9-to-5 office job even more miserable than it already is. According to CoreNet Global, an organization of corporate real estate and workplace professionals, American office spaces have shrunk drastically in the past two years. In 2010, the average American office worker had 225 square feet all to themselves. By 2012, that number was reduced to 176 square feet. That stifling sensation you’re feeling every time you walk into the office is very, very real.

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image via (cc) flickr user omargurnah

In a move sure to do wonders for the emotional well-being of office workers around the world, tech giant Hitachi has developed a line of wearable mood monitors designed to track and tabulate overall workplace happiness. Were I wearing one of their devices, I would grin from ear to ear and say that it’s a great idea to help improve office morale. But, since I’m not, I can say with a scowl that this feels like something right out of a creepy Office Space/”Brave New World” crossover fever-dream.

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Your Office Is Getting Smaller

The average space per worker has shrunk drastically. Get ready to rub elbows with your coworkers.

Do you feel like the walls of your cubicle are closing in on you? They are. The average office is getting progressively smaller:

In the 1970s, American corporations typically thought they needed 500 to 700 square feet per employee to build an effective office. Today's average is a little more than 200 square feet per person, and the space allocation could hit a mere 50 square feet by 2015,

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