Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Musical desks

Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, Oct 9, 2013, says some companies switch people from desk to desk and room to room every few months.

This, they say, increases productivity and collaboration.

This is somewhat different from open floor plans and unassigned seating. It is engineering of who, with what attrributes and attitude, sits next to whom.

Apparently your closest neighbors on the floor account for 40-60% of your interactions.

One company mixed up the accountants and media buyers hoping they would learn each other's work by osmosis. The media buyers learned the financial side so fast, some accountants were not needed. Yoops.

At Kayak, a guy takes into account personality and political views before assigning seats. He tries to avoid style clashes that take up time and annoy people.

But--if someone is stressed out, say, they may put a cheerful bubbler next to that person.

Wince.

Usually it comes down to loud and quiet people. But even then, the powers that be may send a loud person to make the rest interact more.

I dunno. Isn't work hard enough? My kid used to get dinged in school for being a chitchatter--is that what companies want?

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