In fact, one of a biggest hardies of getting accustomed to Yahoo! environment were cubicles. Don’t get me wrong – I like Yahoo! a lot: great company and mostly nice engineering culture! However, I hate cubicles with my guts – the noise level is too much sometimes: a lot of people aren’t inherently evil, but rather inconsiderate when it gets to things like noise in a workplace. Some pretends to be amicable and laughing too hard, others chat loudly, etc.
However, I found cubicles to be somewhat tolerable after having a first hand experience with an open workspace. The main idea behind one is – apparently – to facilitate a collaboration between team members (yeah, right!), however the reality was nothing but a constant flow of interruptions, annoyance, and irritation where one could had a productive office hours only between 6 and 10 am while the office is virtually empty. Golly Gee: what a nightmare ;(!
I found many startups which are eagerly engaging into open-space fallacy mimicking, perhaps, some ‘hot’ companies out there. A whole lot of studies were done over last 40-50 years which shows direct correlation between a level of distraction and one’s ability to perform activities requiring a high level of concentration (i.e. software engineering, learning, etc.). So, what the proponents of open workspaces, perhaps, do not realize is that at the end of the day it isn’t a hive-mind aka ‘group think’ doubtful benefits but rather the quality and predictability of a company’s product are at stake.
Am I glad to be in such a good company on that one?