Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Thoughts On The New Work Area

I think it has been quite a while since I’ve written anything from work.  Today is already starting out to be a strange day. I came into the office early in order to attend a pair of meetings, only to discover that the meetings have been cancelled, which suddenly alters the shape of the day.  Rather than immediately leap into the next task, I thought I would take a few minutes here to savor a cup of coffee and write a little note.  I am sure I had something to say when I started to write, but it seems to have slipped my mind, so I am going to have to go all free association on you here!

We’ve settled into the new building here at work and while the work area is nice, it has a few drawbacks.  First, let me focus on the good things about the area – though the building itself is a piece of junk (typical of many of our older buildings), the area we are sitting in has been remodeled and is not bad.  There is some natural light from a bank of windows along the east side of the area and the cubicle furniture has been built in this century at least. We are just across the courtyard from the main building and the cafeteria, so that has been a nice little treat and has led to more healthy breakfasts, along with the occasional donut run, which probably cancels out the healthy breakfast.

There is a serious drawback in the new work area though.  Basically, we are really stacked in on top of each other and the cubicles have low walls which means that there is no privacy.  And when I saw no privacy, I mean zero.  The area is shaped like an L and we are on the short end of the L.  There are ten people who sit in this area and basically any conversation that is held in the area might as well be held in the same cube as you are, you can hear everything that clearly.  This has created some friction and will continue to create additional friction.  There is no easy solution to it.  I am pretty good at mentally tuning other people out and I suspect that, in time, most of the people will adjust to it, but I also anticipate a good blow up or two before we reach any sort of equilibrium.

However, on a personal level, I am considering the whole thing to be a net gain and I am enjoying the new area.  For me, on a personal level, the presence of natural light makes a huge difference.  I used to crash into a hard wall in the afternoon, after sitting all morning without natural light.  Since we’ve moved into the new area I have not run into that crash.

The old area was down right depressive and here, in the new area, I have yet to feel that sense of depression and frustration.  Now, part of that might have been an artifact of the old organizational structure as well – the curse of poor leadership, but we are through that dark phase of my career here at the Evil Company and we seem to be in a better place.  Our new leadership seems to be competent and I am hoping we’re able to work with them and put the structures in place to upgrade our operational capabilities.

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