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(Adweek)   Privacy be damned, meet the NY ad agency where all employees sit at one 4,400 square foot desk   (adweek.com) divider line 136
    More: Stupid, Barbarian Group, new space  
•       •       •

17502 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2014 at 8:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



136 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-08 09:42:58 PM  

RoxtarRyan: I get to work from home. Hang out with my pup, have the TV on with a movie or something... Not for everyone though. An old gig I had helped hone the self-discipline necessary to ensure shiat gets done with so many distractions.


I can't do it, I work half and half. I've found at home I'm pretty much entirely reactionary, while in the office I can actually get stuff done. I tend to go in the office pretty early and go home about one and take calls, etc from there. All grunt work must get done in the office or it won't get done, no discipline.
 
2014-04-08 09:43:24 PM  
Somewhat makes me think of the stories the greybeards tell me of doing drafting in the 70s.  I know of one work area that was larger than a football field.  No walls, just a sea of 10 x 4 ft boards.  They did some huge layouts way back when.
 
2014-04-08 09:44:19 PM  
Do they use it as a skate park after hours?
 
2014-04-08 09:44:52 PM  
I seriously doubt that was cheaper than buying individual desks and cubicles for everyone. I have no clue how much pouring that resin over the entire surface would cost, but it had to be ridiculously expensive. Also, all that plywood, that wasn't your standard construction grade stuff, that was cabinet grade finished smooth on both sides and runs about $85 for a 4x8 sheet, not to mention that the amount of waste cutting it into those arches would have been enormous.

It looks cool as hell, I'll give you that, but there is no farking way in hell that was cheaper than buying everyone their own desk.
 
2014-04-08 09:46:57 PM  
When we need to collaborate at work, we yell at each other from our offices or use IM, sometimes email. Ta-da!
 
2014-04-08 09:47:49 PM  
"lots of little areas where people can have sort of their own personal space"

This phrase, personal space, I do not believe that it means what you think that it means.
 
2014-04-08 09:49:40 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: I share an office.  It is great having people hearing the other people in my office over my headset.  Apparently the microphone was developed by the NSA and can pick up an ant farting outside.

The bar would be handy.


The other day, some people were having a conference call where I work, and some of them were in different offices/cubes, but well within earshot, so I would hear someone say something, and then it would come over the speaker a quarter second later...echo...echo...very disorienting.
 
2014-04-08 09:53:16 PM  
The important thing is it got them some eyeballs from Adweek and a few people probably checked out their Vimeo stuff. Mission accomplished.
 
2014-04-08 09:55:39 PM  
Those workers are packed closer together than your regular cubical farm.  They're sitting asses to elbows at that table.

Try having a phone conversation while the person directly to your left is collaborating with one or two other coworkers and the person on your right is having their own phone conversation.
 
2014-04-08 09:55:44 PM  

CruJones: I can't do it, I work half and half. I've found at home I'm pretty much entirely reactionary, while in the office I can actually get stuff done. I tend to go in the office pretty early and go home about one and take calls, etc from there. All grunt work must get done in the office or it won't get done, no discipline.


I've found a fine balance. The only "problem" is that there have been quite a few times where I find myself working until 10 or 11pm at night. Balances out with the days where real work isn't scheduled to start till noon. Sometimes though, when working alone on a project, I find that I do better work at night.

Other problem is, you'll NEED to find some kind of hobby outside your house. Thankfully, I work at a bar two nights a week, if only to get me out (and enjoy the free drinks and take-home cash).
 
2014-04-08 09:59:06 PM  

buntz: Where does the guy with Aspergers go after he's done narrating this video?


He's banging the chick.
 
2014-04-08 10:02:20 PM  
Douchebag hipsters sauntering about the office trying to show you "how cool they are".
Worked with many of these ad agency types and they think their shiat doesn't stink and that they're "brilliant".
Not enough room for their egos and oxygen, trust me.

Would not want to work without some privacy and cube farms suck.
 
2014-04-08 10:04:15 PM  
Do they all drink from Klein bottles?
 
2014-04-08 10:05:40 PM  

shlabotnik: Did the vintage automotive robots laser cut his hair?


OK. You owe me a keyboard for that one. Almost spit on the screen.
 
2014-04-08 10:06:38 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I seriously doubt that was cheaper than buying individual desks and cubicles for everyone. I have no clue how much pouring that resin over the entire surface would cost, but it had to be ridiculously expensive. Also, all that plywood, that wasn't your standard construction grade stuff, that was cabinet grade finished smooth on both sides and runs about $85 for a 4x8 sheet, not to mention that the amount of waste cutting it into those arches would have been enormous.

It looks cool as hell, I'll give you that, but there is no farking way in hell that was cheaper than buying everyone their own desk.


Yeah, but imagine the kind of cubicles a place like that would buy.
 
2014-04-08 10:08:34 PM  

Dellirium: cube farms suck.


A cubicle, by law, is an office without a roof.
 
2014-04-08 10:08:58 PM  
I work in a remodeled industrial building that was built in 1930 or so.  It has those sawtooth roofs with glass on the north facing slopes.  I share a pretty roomy office up a flight and a half of stairs from the rest of the commotion and hub-bub, just inderneath those north facing skylights.  There is the odd ductwork going off at odd angles, but the natural light is something that would be awesome if I was an artist.  It's rare when all four people are in the office; this week I have the entire thing to myself.  It's the best possible environment for a software developer, easily the best office I've ever had.

/ I'll burn down the building if they try to take it away from me.
// Just kidding, it's a brick building.
 
2014-04-08 10:09:36 PM  
Wait until they realize what a half-assed idea this was and have it cut apart section by section...
Cheap plywood skateboard jumps!
 
2014-04-08 10:10:15 PM  
Meh.

media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com
 
2014-04-08 10:12:33 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Meh.

[media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com image 480x623]


What could be better for an office environment than a highly sound reflective wall filled with moving water near electronic devices!
 
2014-04-08 10:14:58 PM  
blog.mugnai.netdna-cdn.com
Peaceful
 
2014-04-08 10:18:42 PM  
There is a guy that when faced with the fact that not one damn person is fooled at they are "thirty-sixish" and everyone knows they are long past the high side of forty, will either withdraw into a bitter weathered cocoon or will go full Hunter S. Thompson and chew on a gun barrel.

/listen you old fraud, you hear that sound? That is the yawning abyss that is irrelevance. It's waiting for you,  it only calls those who never own who they are.  Age captures us all but irrelevance calls you.
 
2014-04-08 10:18:58 PM  
Maybe I'm just jaded, but this video seems fake-ish.

The too-serious nature of the guy's goofy comments ("vintage automotive robots", "shipped by flat pack")...
The blank look on the woman's face (as if she's not sure where to focus her eyes)...
The almost-too-casual touching of the surface at various points...
The carefully placed liquor bottles and other props...
The clearly choreographed staff wandering around and under the desk at various points for no particular reason...
The camera panning around unnecessarily in various directions...

It all seems like a lead up to revealing that this is just a viral video the agency made, showing off some of their CGI skills.

On the other hand, I've been in many ad agency offices over the years and this is exactly the sort of stupid, waste of client money, impractical, style-over-substance stuff that I could picture them doing in real life.
 
2014-04-08 10:20:45 PM  

Ghastly: Okay I want my desk next to the booze.


---
And I want my desk next to yours because you notice things before the herd

/but I hate white desks when they reflect too much light
 
2014-04-08 10:22:43 PM  

CruJones: No one at my company has an office, not even the CEO.  You get used to it.



Sounds like your CEO needs to step up his game.  My CEO has an office and a Boeing Business Jet.
 
2014-04-08 10:23:23 PM  
My previous comment was sexist.  Your CEO needs to step up his/her game.
 
2014-04-08 10:25:30 PM  
How do you get 4400 people at one desk?
 
2014-04-08 10:25:59 PM  

Dellirium: [blog.mugnai.netdna-cdn.com image 420x330]
Peaceful


That thing in the topic? Couldn't possibly give any less farks.

This? Jelly. Very jelly.
 
2014-04-08 10:32:38 PM  

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: oukewldave: I used to have a cubicle.  Now I have a group cubicle of 6 of us at my new job.  I hate it.  You can't concentrate when someone is on the phone because that is all you hear.  And I'm tired of having to listen to people eat.  Most of the time I have to just keep my earbuds in all day long, sometimes without anything playing.  I don't know what retards think this group setting helps with getting work done.  It's probably all BS to justify having a cramped space and just cram everyone into it because who cares, if they don't like it, they can find a new job.

Just be glad you're not hot-desking.  You wanna talk massive office suckage.


Be glad you're not hot carling like my office is doing now.
 
2014-04-08 10:36:26 PM  
i install cubicles, so i am getting a kick out of this

i get out of there before you go in there to live there for the rest of your life
 
2014-04-08 10:40:54 PM  
It's not "one 4400 square foot desk" if most of the surface area is 12 feet in the air curving around at unusable angles. Maybe 1000 square feet, and only a fraction of the workstations are actually being used. Meaning they don't have enough employees to justify the size of that office. Meaning, in turn, that they have zero source of revenue.
 
2014-04-08 10:47:35 PM  

meyerkev: Won't go green because you submitted at the wrong time of day, but pretty cool.


They greened it just to prove you wrong. Now you look almost as out-of-the-loop as us Liters.
 
2014-04-08 10:51:09 PM  
They did a tv show about this. It was called 4400.
 
2014-04-08 10:51:36 PM  
my company recently went to open plan, flexible seating, saying it was to create opportunities for teams to collaborate on-the-fly, working with whoever they needed to day-to-day - and that the savings on floor space (about 60% of what we had) was just a fortunate bonus.

but of course there are rules like no desk squatting over days at a time and no saving desks for other people, so instead of people collaborating on an as-needed basis, there's a free-for-all to grab seats based on how early you start - except of course executives who decide that squatting is ok for them when they feel like it.

i take great delight in being one of the earliest starters (I always was, so it's not going out of my way), and then calling out their rule-breaking in as loud a voice as I can.

the greatest problem, though, is the noise levels - there's no privacy and the limited meeting rooms are never available when you need them. everyone gets shiatty at everyone else because their time to socialise doesn't happen to coincide with someone elses, so, again, I take great delight in point out their hypocrisies to each other - not to mention being unashamedly loud on my own phone calls.

this stupidity continues because we have accountants running businesses, and if it doesn't exist on their spreadsheets then it's not real. time wastage from seating moves every day, inefficiencies from constant distractions, irritations from no escape from co-workers - none of it is real.

capitalist extremism taken to its logical conclusion. dumb farking race, humans are.
 
2014-04-08 10:52:00 PM  
Don't think it would work for any type of job that required deep thought or concentration, or with employees that tend toward introversion,  but these are ad people and they do tend towards sociable and vapid, so perhaps it is an ideal setup for them
 
2014-04-08 10:54:42 PM  
NOPE
cdn.ebaumsworld.com

F*CK DAT SHIAT!
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-08 10:56:09 PM  

gweilo8888: meyerkev: Won't go green because you submitted at the wrong time of day, but pretty cool.

They greened it just to prove you wrong. Now you look almost as out-of-the-loop as us Liters.


3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-08 11:00:10 PM  
I'm so glad I don't work in an office anymore. I may have to drive around half the state in my careers but at least I am not crammed into a small space with other people... I work alone, and I love it. I have no boss hanging around looking over my shoulder or standing at the doorway to my cubicle saying "I'm going to need you to work on Saturday, mkay?"  There are no office politics, no office gossips, no workplace drama from those people who make working in offices and retail a royal pain in the ass. I have no set schedule; I work when I wish, stop working when I wish, and if I decide I don't feel like working on any particular day, I roll over in bed and don't go to work that day just as simple as that; I can always reschedule for another day. Part of my job is done at home, in my PJs, with the stereo on and a snack on my desk. Sometimes I even do some of my work with Mrs. Nightbird in my arms.


johndalek: i install cubicles, so i am getting a kick out of this

i get out of there before you go in there to live there for the rest of your life


Ah, so  you're the broker of lost dreams! Nice to meet you!
 
2014-04-08 11:00:49 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Meh.

[media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com image 480x623]


They build a huge aquarium... and use Galant desks from IKEA?
 
2014-04-08 11:03:52 PM  
I've worked as a contract for 25+ years, so I'm used to crap, improvised workspaces. There have been times I've been allocated 1 (1) printer stand to balance a laptop on, and once I got a plywood table in a trailer in a field literally a stone's throw from a decomissioned nuclear reactor. Those I didn't mind. The one in the link was cool in a lot of ways, I liked the arches, although I can say I've worked better places for IT geeks.

Worst place I ever saw was when I went to Mawah NJ for a meeting doing work for a very large, very brown package handling company.

Imagine taking a Wal Mart, stripping out the shelves, keeping the sodium lights, and then filling a stadium-sized space with half-cubicles that extend six inches above the desktop. Just to cheer the harshly lit echoing place up a bit, add a 1970's Harvest Gold and Avocado Green wave sort of thing on one wall.

All your developers are sitting across from someone who's every fart, sneeze, cough and sniffle will become a distraction and a reason to hate them more. Seriously... It was like looking down a line and seeing matched pairs of future psychotically obsessed archenemies.

"Holy shiat, I have found developer hell!" Remarkably enough, understanding that prepared me fairly well for the things I heard in the meeting I was there for.
 
2014-04-08 11:07:01 PM  
Someone is going to get anal.
 
2014-04-08 11:12:02 PM  

maxheck: I've worked as a contract for 25+ years, so I'm used to crap, improvised workspaces. There have been times I've been allocated 1 (1) printer stand to balance a laptop on, and once I got a plywood table in a trailer in a field literally a stone's throw from a decomissioned nuclear reactor. Those I didn't mind. The one in the link was cool in a lot of ways, I liked the arches, although I can say I've worked better places for IT geeks.

Worst place I ever saw was when I went to Mawah NJ for a meeting doing work for a very large, very brown package handling company.

Imagine taking a Wal Mart, stripping out the shelves, keeping the sodium lights, and then filling a stadium-sized space with half-cubicles that extend six inches above the desktop. Just to cheer the harshly lit echoing place up a bit, add a 1970's Harvest Gold and Avocado Green wave sort of thing on one wall.

All your developers are sitting across from someone who's every fart, sneeze, cough and sniffle will become a distraction and a reason to hate them more. Seriously... It was like looking down a line and seeing matched pairs of future psychotically obsessed archenemies.

"Holy shiat, I have found developer hell!" Remarkably enough, understanding that prepared me fairly well for the things I heard in the meeting I was there for.



Yeah, you see? I'd probably snap and go postal in a workplace like that. It's best for everyone that I work solo.
 
2014-04-08 11:23:18 PM  
Wait till people start farting.
 
2014-04-08 11:33:58 PM  
Prithee, what dost happeneth upon this thread?

media.tumblr.com
 
2014-04-08 11:39:13 PM  
Nix Nightbird:

maxheck: I've worked as a contract for 25+ years, so I'm used to crap, improvised workspaces. There have been times I've been allocated 1 (1) printer stand to balance a laptop on, and once I got a plywood table in a trailer in a field literally a stone's throw from a decomissioned nuclear reactor. Those I didn't mind. The one in the link was cool in a lot of ways, I liked the arches, although I can say I've worked better places for IT geeks.

Worst place I ever saw was when I went to Mawah NJ for a meeting doing work for a very large, very brown package handling company.

Imagine taking a Wal Mart, stripping out the shelves, keeping the sodium lights, and then filling a stadium-sized space with half-cubicles that extend six inches above the desktop. Just to cheer the harshly lit echoing place up a bit, add a 1970's Harvest Gold and Avocado Green wave sort of thing on one wall.

All your developers are sitting across from someone who's every fart, sneeze, cough and sniffle will become a distraction and a reason to hate them more. Seriously... It was like looking down a line and seeing matched pairs of future psychotically obsessed archenemies.

"Holy shiat, I have found developer hell!" Remarkably enough, understanding that prepared me fairly well for the things I heard in the meeting I was there for.


Yeah, you see? I'd probably snap and go postal in a workplace like that. It's best for everyone that I work solo.


Well, it *IS* possible to get loopy in the other direction... There have been development contracts where I literally did not have to speak to anyone voice-wise for a month at a time other than my cat, and she wasn't very talkative... Add self-checkouts at the grocery and card-swipers at the gas station, and I didn't actually speak to anyone for long periods. When family or the boss actually *did* want to talk to me on the phone, you could hear the rusty gears grinding in my head... "blugh bluh wha?" It really did take a moment to engage.
 
2014-04-08 11:42:26 PM  

Bacontastesgood: Afternoons are way more productive since I don't fade out sitting down anymore.


Interesting.  I have a job where I could sort of do this and I hate that dragged down feeling after lunch.

RoxtarRyan: Thankfully, I work at a bar two nights a week, if only to get me out (and enjoy the free drinks and take-home cash).


Also interesting.  Work at a bar and get free drinks and cash.  Wait, what?  WTF do you do for a living?  Stripper?
 
2014-04-08 11:53:37 PM  
I work from home, 2000 miles away from home office.  It's *almost* far enough away from my cow-orkers.
 
2014-04-08 11:54:50 PM  

mrlewish: You people have offices?   I do work.  Threw a truck today.  Only 45 feet though.. a bit small.  Hates little boxes.  fark can't you consolidate for Christs sake? Do you have any idea how heavy boxes of motor oil get after doing that stuff for 3 hours?  Yeah my job sucks but I could beat you up and take your woman.


You're funny.

/she'd kick your arse.
 
2014-04-09 12:03:13 AM  
it's called a table
 
2014-04-09 12:03:37 AM  
Been working from home for about 5 or 6 years now.

The commute is a PITA, but the perks are worth it.
 
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