Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boo Office Noise

Last week I spent a full day working from home. It's been a very long time since I've had that opportunity, and wow was it much needed. I just didn't realize how distracted I am in my current setting.

I work in a room packed with 12 people; as many as it can fit. As much as I understand and have experienced the benefit of working in an open area with your team, tight quarters with half of the conversations distracting you isn't the same thing. On top of that, we have hardwood floors, bare walls, and no ceiling. Everything from the area next door carries right in. All of these things just make my office space a productivity inhibitor. Unfortunately, we have no where else to go.

If I am ever in the position to build spaces for software engineering teams, I think I'd do the following:

  1. Open spaces for groups of up to 8 people

  2. Cubicles in a designated 'quiet' area

  3. No assigned seating. Everyone has a rolling cart to take with them. Mobile tables throughout with core supplies, an extra monitor, etc.

  4. A couple of relaxation rooms

  5. PLENTY of meeting rooms. I forgot to mention earlier that sometimes we have to hold meetings or conferences at our desks

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I want to add my 2 cents on productivity - especially with blocking noise. I am a freelance web developer and the one thing that has really helped me is a good set of noise cancellation headphones so I can get some peace and quiet. I work at home and also homeschool my kids so there's always people scurrying around the house. I bought the EX-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones and they have been great. I wear them from after lunch until quitting time - this is my productive time of the day. I don't answer phones, respond to email or anything - just work. These headphones let me get the quiet I need to concentrate. I highly recommend getting a good set of headphones and these are the ones that worked for me. Great post!