Look Ma, No Cubicles
For Baby Boomers, work has always meant working alone.
Talking with someone else meant not working. And status has meant separating yourself from others. It means a bigger office is better. It means a corner office with a window is real status. It means seeing someone else with a computer purchased more recently than yours is a real downer.
For younger professionals, work is done differently.
Working with others is often more productive than working alone. Having stuff in an office, whether it be a file cabinet or a picture of your significant other, is not desirable. Younger professionals have files and pictures galore, just online. And when you want or can work from anywhere, including home, you don’t need status, stuff, or solitude.
So open space, work tables, simple desks, are what younger professionals want. They also want good chairs and proper lighting.
Younger professionals are taking over the way offices look and function to such an extent there’s even a concerted effort to find a solution to the one problem with these new offices. The one problem is that open spaces with multiple people apparently transmit more communicable diseases, causing more sick time.
So there are health professionals working a spray and other products and practices to minimize the risk of getting a fellow worker’s gunk.
The photo with this story is of a newly redesigned LERN office. Shortly after a few younger professionals joined the LERN staff, their Boomer supervisor approved and participated in the redesign.