Admitting I was wrong – Workplace 2.0 — 2 Comments

  1. My federal government office is about to go to workplace 2.0 within six months. And I can tell you that after 20 years of working in a cubicle, that I am dreading the lack of privacy. Everything else about it sounds great, and I don’t even mind the smaller space but as an introvert who is very easily distracted by people walking by my cubicle, chatter and heavy perfume use, I am not sure I am going to make it LOL. In fact to be honest it keeps me up at night. It sounds great for the majority of people who are extroverted social animals. But as usual, the introverted are being expected to just stop being themselves for he majority of their day. Anything you can tell me to ease my fear of this would help a great deal.

    • So I am an introvert by nature, and prefer to send email to people rather than go to their desk. But I’m also a manager in an area that requires a fair amount of interaction and coordination with others, so I have to fight those tendencies. Given a choice between tall walls, or short walls, I would have said I only like tall walls. I hate having my back to the door but am distracted by people walking by. Much of the same thing you said.

      But like my post said, even with those “fears”, the issue isn’t whether 2.0 is good or bad but whether you get good 2.0 or bad 2.0. Bad 2.0 is all the bad elements like low walls, small cubicles, no privacy without the corresponding side of good 2.0 of lots of meeting space, white noise, bright light, and 100% better ventilation.

      The “walking by” part depends a lot on how tall you are. My wife, when she’s in her cubicle, I can’t even tell until I’m practically to her cubicle because she’s 5’6″, a little taller than average, and when sitting down or working away, you can’t see her head. So you don’t see anyone “walking by” unless they’re walking right by your cubicle. And the aisles tend to be a bit wider than normal too so not same as old cubicles. Do you notice? Yes. Is it bad? No. Even for introverts.

      The noise doesn’t carry, so honestly, with proper noise baffles, you get WAY LESS noise than was in the tall cubicles that had zero noise blockage. It was always an illusion, just as you knew when your neighbor was fighting on teh phone with their spouse and thought “nobody could hear”.

      So far, just about everyone I have met who complains about 2.0 is either in a bad 2.0 setup, OR they happen to have lost the layout lottery and are near a fridge or a photocopier or a printer or an open collaborative space. Or in the new layout went from being at the end of a cubicle farm and nobody came near them to now being right on a main thoroughfare. It’s not the 1.0 vs. 2.0 problem, it’s where theyr’e sitting.

      For everyone else, their initial reactions for the first six months are all positive, *if* it is real 2.0. I’m not kidding, or blowing smoke. The majority of the people in the modern 2.0+ layout tend to like ALL of it except a lack of storage space. And with lower heights, long coats are a pain to hang up anywhere.

      But if they don’t modify ventilation or sound, and don’t give you the new “spaces” for collaboration or just to eat lunch, then it isn’t true 2.0, it’s just a smaller cubicle and it sucks.

      Good luck!


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