"Oh, I have a problem: It’s with open-office layouts."
Those are the words of Fast Company senior editor Jason Feifer, who was recently moved from his private office into the open-office layout that makes up the majority of Fast Company's workspace.
He wasn't happy. In response to the move—and in the spirit of open debate—Feifer penned a piece lambasting the trend of open-office layouts. His thesis finds open workspaces disrespectful to employees, and harmful to workflow:
Every workspace should contain nothing but offices. Offices for everyone. Offices for the junior associate and the assistant editor, and offices for the vice president and the editor-in-chief. Take those long tables, the ones currently lined with laptops at startups, and give them to an elementary school so children can eat lunch on them. We’ll have to do away with all those adorable communal spaces, but they were always a little demeaning, a little not-quite-Starbucks. We won’t need them now that we all have our own meeting place.
Feifer is not alone in his fight. Just this past weekend, a video entitled "The slow death of a cubicle life (part II)" went viral. (Part I it seems has been taken down.)
Take a look for yourselves:
One thing is clear: a lot of people hate open-office layouts.
We want to know why.
Share your open-office pet peeves in the (completely anonymous) Google form below. We want to know why you feel disrespected, what you miss most about being alone at work, and what that obnoxious co-worker does that's driving you to the brink of insanity. The best (or worst) pet peeves will be featured on Fast Company later this month. After all, misery loves company.
[Image: Flickr user Thanakrit Gu]