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Topic Tuesday: Open Workplace Designs

Mary Ramirez Community Leader Dec 11, 2018


Happy Tuesday everyone! 


A before and after study led by a Harvard Business professor challenges the idea that open workplace designs lead to more collaboration. So I ask the group, what are your thoughts? 


I've seen cool offices with couches, phone booth room with 70's wallpaper and sections that mirror diner-style booths. I also love seeing rooms dedicated to mothers breastfeeding and entry doors accessible for people in wheelchairs. Can diversity and inclusion even be included in workplace designs?


Please share your ideas and even pics of workplaces you've seen or would like to see!


Hi ,
I recently listened to a Feakonomics podcast around open work spaces in relation to staff performance. I agree with the issue that open work spaces reduce open communication and reduce transparency amongst teams, alternative channels of communication are utilised though I think personally this slows down information dissemination.
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carolyn french Community Leader Dec 12, 2018

I enjoy tables that have the look and feel of a cafe- a nice change of pace. For me, having a diverse team means there will be introverts and extroverts. Give the introverts a tiny place to hide, even if it's in plain sight, and more people will be happy with open floor plans.

Is this a rhetorical question? "Can diversity and inclusion even be included in workplace designs?"

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BiancaE Atlassian Team Dec 13, 2018

I think diversity and inclusion can definitely be included in workspace! Even with simple things like art - having diversity of the artists represented in the workplace can be more welcoming. 

Like Karen O'Keefe likes this
Mary Ramirez Community Leader Dec 13, 2018

@BiancaE, great idea!! 

At my last job, the workplace was completely open. Even executives worked in open spaces with the rest of us. We didn't have so much as a drawer or shelf, which made us think about keeping paper copies of anything.

I was horrified initially, because I am a writer/tester and I need to be able to think. However, our workplace was relatively quiet--and the collaboration was great. Privacy was non-existent. On the other hand, I knew who everyone was because I could see everybody.

Right now, I am in a cubicle, which makes me more comfortable. It's nice to have my own space--and it definitely offers me privacy and quiet. I have drawers and shelves--and a pace to hang a small whiteboard. That all helps my work, though my desk tends to be messier and I print stuff out more.

I can collaborate fairly easily, but I have to make some effort. I also don't know who a lot of people are--because I never see them.

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