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Thread: Office distractions

  1. #1
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    Office distractions

    A couple of years ago we moved into a new office space and the management decided we needed a more open cubical design. Well after many complaints about us developers not being able to concentrate due to folks walking around the office. They agreed to add some glass to the top of our cube walls (as to not block the natural light). Well, little do they know, we developers work with the blinds closed and the lights off most of the time.
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    Still being the picky bunch of developers we are, any distractions make us flip out. The glass helped, but we've had a lot more activity in our space with folks coming and going lately. Those little 1" to 3" gaps between the glass pretty much bug everyone, so I think I've come up with a solution, some fillers for those gaps.
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    Yes Brent, I've got a roll of tape to mark the door on the floor too.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
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    LOL

    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  3. #3
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    It has always amazed me how little the non creative people know about why we need to get deeply into creative mode when we work, and thus have no idea why we like to work in quiet semi darkness, undisturbed. I too suffered from this most of my career. They moved me from an office with a door to a cubicle with no door and too little space, and then to an "open plan" where we had no desk and just a small kind of file cabinet. We had sofas and over stuffed chairs
    and end tables in a large open room and were told to move around and have little informal meetings with others. What a joke! Nothing got accomplished in that place, but the non deep thinkers loved it. It was an all day party place for them.

    Sometimes, so much so that I would start my day late, and work into the late evening when everyone else had left for the day, to do the creation part of my work in semi darkness with no disturbances at all. They didn't like me working this schedule, but they let me do it because they needed what I was creating and had no one else who knew how. It was easier for them to let me than to bow to my demands for the right environment to create during the day with the bright lighting, constant phone calls, and people walking in and out of my office all day. I used to design control systems for large scale high speed manufacturing machinery. The tiny off purple ceramic IC that's in your cell phones and PCs was built on some the machines that I worked to create. My last office, after making their lives miserable, was a big cubical in size, but with high walls to the ceiling, a separate ceiling light switch, and a door, but they put a small window in the door (probably to peek in to see if I was really working).

    Are they going to let you install these? Maybe some dark shades over the upper glass will help too. Do you have a door and separate light switch?

    Good luck. I hope you can get away with it.

    Charley

  4. #4
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    Well, My boss stopped by and saw it, loved the look and said, we need more of those. She's contacting the facilities person and having her come over to look at them so either our carpenters here, the cube company, or myself may be making enough for the rest of the cubes.
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    Charley, we actually do have a light switch for each row, only a couple of the rows ever get turned on. The day light lovers have moved to one side of the room with the blinds open and lights on, our side is the dark side.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
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    Way back in the day, our company had a couple of floors of an office building in downtown Sanfrancisco. Had a nice office with a view of the bay.

    Then rents started going up due to the tech boom and at the same time we were moving a lot of employees to work on site at our clients so we didn't need quite so much room.

    The building was going to give us a good deal to downsize a bit so they could rent out some space at higher rents. Well, Whoever was in charge of our facilities planning severely underestimated the number of employees that were going to be working in the office and consequently the amount of space.

    So they went to an open workspace type plan with low walls, shared desks, etc..

    There is a huge difference in the way programmers work than the client service people. The programmers needed to get into deep modes of concentration that were just impossible to do in that environment.

    The client service people had to be on the phone all the time. And some of the client service people had issues with using their 'inside voice'. It was horrible.

    Around that time the connectivity from home was getting to the point where it was better than the shared lines in the office, so a lot of us just started working from home. Pretty much stopped going into the office and no one ever said anything.

    After that it was a simple hop skip and a jump to move out of the bay area to my isolated desert compound
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Way back in the day, our company had a couple of floors of an office building in downtown Sanfrancisco. Had a nice office with a view of the bay.

    Then rents started going up due to the tech boom and at the same time we were moving a lot of employees to work on site at our clients so we didn't need quite so much room.

    The building was going to give us a good deal to downsize a bit so they could rent out some space at higher rents. Well, Whoever was in charge of our facilities planning severely underestimated the number of employees that were going to be working in the office and consequently the amount of space.

    So they went to an open workspace type plan with low walls, shared desks, etc..

    There is a huge difference in the way programmers work than the client service people. The programmers needed to get into deep modes of concentration that were just impossible to do in that environment.

    The client service people had to be on the phone all the time. And some of the client service people had issues with using their 'inside voice'. It was horrible.

    Around that time the connectivity from home was getting to the point where it was better than the shared lines in the office, so a lot of us just started working from home. Pretty much stopped going into the office and no one ever said anything.

    After that it was a simple hop skip and a jump to move out of the bay area to my isolated desert compound
    So you're saying, burn the little inserts and revolt. We've only got a couple of folks that are talkers, we usually just tell them to shut it.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    So you're saying, burn the little inserts and revolt. We've only got a couple of folks that are talkers, we usually just tell them to shut it.
    We had one person, especially, that would have loud, very personal conversations on the phone that literally the entire office could hear. I do not miss that!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
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    SPEAKER PHONES SHOULD BE OUTLAWED

  9. #9
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    Needs to be about 6" thicker, go all the way to the ceiling, and have sound deadening foam on the outside. Then it would be close to perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Around that time the connectivity from home was getting to the point where it was better than the shared lines in the office, so a lot of us just started working from home. Pretty much stopped going into the office and no one ever said anything.

    After that it was a simple hop skip and a jump to move out of the bay area to my isolated desert compound
    Our work doesn't support remote workers... So yeah... luckily I'm now in a small cube farm of only 6 or 7 people so unless there's active construction going on on site its not usually to bad. They put in way to many lights though!
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    So you're saying, burn the little inserts and revolt. We've only got a couple of folks that are talkers, we usually just tell them to shut it.
    I would say tell them to get with the program and let you work from home. I bet Brent's company gets twice as much work from him as if he were to have to drive to an office each day and put up with constant interruptions.

    I wont get started on what i feel about the whole creative non creative bit. Been a bone of contention my entire life that creative types dont get rewarded half as much as the brawn running around on a field of some sort or knocking balls around with a piece of wood. We still cave people someday hopefully we realize that solutions to our problems are going to take creative types to figure them out.

    Just imagine a football player with a contract that says ....well Tom Brady we going to give you stock options this year and they will vest in 3 years and you will be able to collect on them starting year 4. That is if you still playing for us by then. Oh and best you win superbowl each year or those stock options are going to be worth zero.
    Now thats a starting point for me. Line up boys its training camp and we need you to sign your stock options award. YEAH RIGHT but wouldn't it be nice.
    cheers

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