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I turned down a 6-figure job offer partly because of a similar seating arrangement. The room was huge and had six large round tables that sat 8 people each.
No way was I gonna work in that room. This other reason I turned it down was because they expected everyone to work at least 60 hours per work week.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
The downside is the office area is one big room with no walls (not even cubicles).
That seems like a huge distraction. Time to buy some noise cancelling headphones. Last time I sat around a table with 25 engineers... there was an obscene fusion of death metal, rap, beethoven and trance/electronic music leaking out from headphones.
Is there any benefit to having everyone sitting at the same table?
I'm wondering how effective noise canceling headphones will be. I used to work in a machine room with heavy duty air conditioning. We had noise cancelling headphones available to us for extended visits. They were great at canceling out the noise from the a/c, and we could converse in a normal voice. Basically, anything without a repetitive waveform was passed through mostly unchanged. So if you're in an environment where people are talking to each other, I would expect that would come through as 'not noise'. But that was from 25 years ago, so maybe the parameters/algorithms for what is considered noise is much better now?
I used to work in a machine room with heavy duty air conditioning.
Mmmmmmm, Yeah... Milton we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage room B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?
The wife purchased those headphones to watch stuff on the computer (we life in a 1 room apartment in Singapore) they seem to have migrated to work where I sit on a bench with many others. They are excellent.
I am living JSOPs nightmare environment.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity
The seating arrangement that you describe comes in different flavors but its main purpose is to "foster collaboration". I used to work at a Goldman Sachs sister company, and that is how they did it. Very weird at first, but it works.
Many software companies do this now, Google, etc.
It works. You would think everyone would be talking all day and no work would get done, but the opposite to this is true.
If you are of an age, then you'll remember Les Nesman making his own door... 'nuff said.
And for the USB charging ports? Depending upon your device, they may not work... be prepared to have your charging block and plug it into a regular outlet.
I cannot even begin to imagine working in an open environment. I think they almost got it correct - perhaps the open area should have been the meeting area with offices on the periphery. I think this guy got it right, or pretty close to it:
I have seen the insanity of making decisions for developers by people who aren't developers go on for so long. IT spec'ing machines when they have no clue what will be done with them. Same for monitors, keyboards, chairs, even to technical books.
But I will say that one of the best business investments I ever made was buying Bose QC15s. I deliberately sit such that I cannot see with peripheral vision if someone is standing in my cubicle "door". I type this from my home office. I have doors, and I use them.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759