SPUG: Results of Work Space Survey

Jim Flanagan jimfl at colltech.com
Mon Nov 19 14:50:14 CST 2001

--On Monday, November 19, 2001 2:08 PM -0500 "Michael R. Wolf" 
<MichaelRunningWolf at att.net> wrote:

     > I use white boards, stickeys, colored markers, and lots of
     > other visuals to help solve a problem.  A standard desk doesn't let
     > me work. I get into a "thrashing" problem where I spend more time
     > reshuffling my papers than I do putting work into the code.
     > Any thoughts on that front?

  I think the main issue is that not all spaces are appropriate for all
  types of work, and the high-tech worker generally does lots of different
  kinds of work. For development type tasks, an office is great for
  "research" (i.e. web surfing) and coding binges, but sucks for code
  review, or smoke testing, or any collaborative sorts of tasks. Sometimes
  you want to be in a room full of the people you're working with, and
  you're in a mode where the NERF darts are kinda fun. Sometimes, you need
  some serious isolation.

  An open bullpen with tables in the center for collaborative work, and
  stations along the wall has a great dynamic, and you can just shout out
  questions and anyone who cares can answer or just ignore you.

  I think if I desgined a work environment, there would be several levels
  of oppenness. The bullpen would be the main work area, with stations
  assigned to individuals, common equipment in the center. Informal
  meetings off to the side of the same space, where the comfy chairs,
  couches and coffee tables and several huge whiteboards are. Nobody should
  think the less of you if you spend all day in the comfy chairs reading or
  with a laptop, as long as you get the work done. There are offices and
  closed meeting rooms, but they don't "belong" to anyone. You can check
  them out for short periods, or pop into an unoccupied one for private
  phone conversations.

Jim Flanagan
jimfl at colltech.com

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