Your votes are in and the winner of the 2016 Office Madness competition is No Privacy! While I was personally rooting for Microwaved Fish, it’s no surprise that the biggest office annoyance deals with the constant struggle between collaboration and concentration. Our own Barclay Pollak wrote about both the benefits and pitfalls of an open office environment and how that’s increased the demand for flexible work environments:
Do you know why I enjoy working from home or remotely? I’m not confined to my cube! Everyday 60 percent of Americans go to work and spend eight hours in a box. It shouldn’t come as a big shock that 93 percent of workers despise cubicles according to Yahoo! Finance. Nikal Saval, author of the book “Cubed” says the cubicle, “connotes dread, hatred, the terrible white collar life.”
Of course, the solution to the No Privacy annoyance isn’t just to give everyone an office or enable them to work from home. That’s not practical. But we can work toward redesigning the workplace itself:
We can redefine remote work. It doesn’t have to mean working from across town, sometimes it just means the ability to work from across the office. With VoIP technology, powerful laptops, and high-speed internet, we’re not tethered to our desks anymore. We’re high-tech hobos, who can, and should, pick up and move to whatever space is most conducive to the kind of work we’re trying to accomplish at that moment. Designing our workspaces around that kind of flexibility is a key element of employee satisfaction and productivity.
And who knows, as the workplace of the future becomes the workplace of today, our biggest office annoyance of 2017 may just be Microwaved Fish after all!