I recently worked at a trendy internet company with catered food and amazing people. But the open space office plan did me in. I quit in just two months.
Here are some of the reasons why the popular office layout just needs to go away…forever.
I was miserable – I was forced to stare at my computer for long periods of time. Any small diversion of my gaze could make a colleague uncomfortable as though I’m trying to read their thoughts.
No sense of privacy – If I wanted to eat on my desk, people have to see me stuffing my face. Furthermore, there’s not enough space to put my plate down.
No sense of ownership– I spent over 8 hours of my day at the office but it didn’t feel like I had a space that was mine. I missed having my own cubicle where I can hang a nice poster or keep a photo on my desk of people that motivate me throughout the day.
Fighting For the phone room – My job involved talking on the phone, a lot. So a typical day would have me going up and down the elevators to different conference rooms to take the calls so people around me wouldn’t have to listen to my conversation. It was exhausting.
Getting sick- It was flu season when I joined the company, and people were sneezing and coughing everywhere. Without any barriers, those germs spread like wildfire.
I felt stressed-out – you felt you’re constantly being watched which leads to stress. Aside from this, you lose the ability to focus so you end up taking work at home, thus destroying your work-life balance, leading to more stress.
Feeling of insecurity – I couldn’t relax even during my lunch or break. If I check my emails, someone would see my screen. If I look at my phone, someone would see me doing so. I felt a sense of distrust that anything I did was under the microscope.
I couldn’t have anyone over – training was especially challenging since there isn’t a space between me and the person next to me where my Trainer can sit. Having her there made a terrible office situation more terrible for the first couple of weeks when she was training me.
I had to deal with my neighbor’s clutter – my neighbor’s clutter is my clutter. I normally do not like working in an cluttered environment–it messes with my productivity. I didn’t have a choice.