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Cautionary Tales – Workplace Hell: The demise of the playful workspace

Within the early 90s, cutting-edge promoting company Chiat/Day introduced a radical plan, geared toward giving the corporate a jolt of artistic renewal. They’d sweep away nook places of work and cubicles and exchange them with zany open areas, in addition to progressive transportable computer systems and telephones. A model new period of “hot-desking” had arrived.

Issues shortly started. Disgruntled workers discovered themselves hauling temperamental, clunky laptops and armfuls of paperwork all around the workplace; some even had to make use of the trunks of their vehicles as submitting cupboards. Quickly, the sad nomads had had sufficient.

Unhealthy execution was guilty for the failure of this “playful” workspace. However Chiat/Day had made one other mistake right here, too – one which was extra critical, extra elementary and altogether extra frequent.

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Additional studying

Warren Berger’s sensible Wired article about Chiat/Day was printed on 1 February 1999 as “Misplaced in Area“. Different sources on Chiat/Day embody Herbert Muschamp “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Advert World” within the New York Instances, 16 October 1994, and Planet Cash’s podcast “Open Workplace“.

On Pessac, see Alain de Botton’s The Structure of Happiness, Philippe Boudon’s Lived-In Structure and my very own e-book Messy. On the Pixar HQ see Catmull & Wallace Creativity, Inc and Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs.

Haslam and Knight’s analysis is written up as “Cubicle, Candy Cubicle” in Scientific American Thoughts Sep/Oct 2010. Information on working from house is at WFH Analysis.



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