Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mobile Workers

I work for a high tech company. This means I am surrounded by smart people everyday at work. This does not mean, however, everything conducted here is always smart.

They just implemented a mobile work environment and moved our team to the first office building that’s newly designed for that purpose. It means that you can sit anywhere in the building to work by using your laptop and logging on to your IP phone. It also means that we are the first batch of guinea pigs to try it out.

I’m not sure the reason behind this design, but I can tell you why it doesn’t make much sense.

1. We are not mobile workers. We are stationary workers in that we do our jobs on site, at a fixed location with the same group of people we interact on a daily basis.

2. To be truly mobile, there are no more desktop computers. We have to carry a laptop, among other things, with us day in and day out.

3. There are no drawers under these new desks. Whatever we need to get through the day, we need to carry them with us day in and day out. This includes: notebooks, paper print outs, pens/pencils, rulers, calculator, hand lotion, toothpicks, breath mints, etc. We used to be able to put these in the drawers in our own cubicles and not having to worry about it.

4. Every night before we leave, we are supposed to clean out everything on top and around the desk, so somebody else can use the same work space if needed. Which means nobody will use ours since as I said, we are stationary workers!

5. There are no more cubicles, just clusters of workstations with small pieces of mesh screens between them, which do not block either sound or sight. There are, therefore, no place to hang calendar, reminders, important notes, pictures of your loved ones, etc. In other words, the place looks very high tech, but relates to not humans, but machines. We all know we spend more time with our co-workers than with our families.

A cubicle at least provides some privacy, along with a sense of having our own space. Some pictures of our loved ones can give us some kind of comfort by reminding us: Maybe all this is worth it. Not anymore. Thanks to this high tech design, the last bit of human factor is taken out of our working lives. My guess is whoever designed this must be a man. Don't you think?


  1. damn sound like a smart bunch of potato hrads to me buncha penny pichin sob,s
    wanr me to come whup up on em?

  2. yea! could you please...? ^_^

  3. Sarah, I think who ever designed it was trying to "save money" and did not think it through well enough. How can you and the other workers be "productive" if you are constantly distracted by other workers and noises.

    I am sure someone in "upper management" thought of the idea based on something he/she saw somewhere else and wanted to "give it a try".

    You are correct. You are not mobile. If you truly were then you would not go there to work. You might "work from home" or from "Starbucks"(while drinking cappucino). :-)



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