A peer was commenting about open offices (e.g. large areas withseveral work areas) versus cubicles, and what theadvantages/disadvantages of each holds for software development.While this is painfully obvious, it suddenly struck me thatcubicles allow you to jam people even closer together – without thebarriers of partition walls, natural psychological “bubbles” wouldprevent one from packing employees as closely. Put a littlesuperficial wall and you can jam people right up beside and afronteach other, within arms reach in many cases.
I’ve worked in both (RBC, inparticular, had an absolutely terrible work environment for all butsenior management. Tiny little micro-cubicals about 4 feet deepwith your back against heavily trafficked corridors: Combine theworst of both cubicles and open offices. Add in the sleep inducingdin of the AC, overlaid with the rhythmic tapping of hundreds ofpeople pecking away at their keyboard filling out their TPSReports, and you have a creativeless, life-sucking environmentwhere the intelligent part of your brain goes to die), along withof course private offices, and I definitely prefer the former if aprivate office isn’t possible.