Weekend Reads: Open Offices, Gigs Revisited, Snapchat Falls Flat

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I take a slim view of most new issues foisted upon me by some distant and obscure authority over which I’ve no affect. That is very true within the office. I characterize this angle as “radical doubt,” which sounds vaguely philosophical, educational, and conscience-driven, however is de facto only a euphemism for “I would prefer not to.

Like most philosophies, it’s removed from seamless in its utility. You wish to set up new software program on my laptop? Why? What if it’s buggy? What was fallacious with the previous program? I by no means use the very last thing you put in. Are you positive I’ve sufficient reminiscence?

Which brings me to the open-office surroundings. It appears to be all the fashion today. And whereas I don’t thoughts it within the summary or once I don’t have an workplace to lose, I are likely to doubt it accomplishes what it units out to. Indeed, with productivity growth falling to levels not seen since, perhaps, the Dark Ages, or no less than the 1970s, I’m going to exit on a limb and lay among the blame on the doorstep of the open workplace.

So what’s the rationale behind it?

The open workplace is meant to stage hierarchies and encourage the kind of barrier-less collaboration and communication required by the 21st-century financial system. An added bonus: It helps preserve monitor of truant and tardy employees. It was dreamed up by a team of designers in Hamburg, Germany, again within the 1950s. Silicon Valley embraced it and now it’s in every single place.

But the analysis is obvious: It doesn’t work. Aside from fostering a way of neighborhood and mission, the open workplace has a unfavorable impact on nearly each different metric of employee productiveness and satisfaction. There is extra noise and distraction and fewer privateness. Staff in open offices even take more sick days. Whether that’s as a result of their morale is within the gutter or as a result of the open workplace is extra conducive to the unfold of illness is a enjoyable query to ponder as you sit in your open cubicle.

These knowledge factors apart, I don’t assume the open workplace goes anyplace. The proof in opposition to it could be overwhelming, however when has that ever made a distinction?

Below are some fascinating reads on open workplaces and different content material which have caught my eye.

The Open Office Is Awful (for Productivity)

Social Media Agonistes

Snapchat’s disappointing earnings report was the information of the week within the markets. I’ll admit I’ve by no means used Snapchat, however from what I collect, it’s a social media platform through which users send disappearing messages. That could not sound like a lot, however the youngsters like it. Hence its market cap of roughly $20 billion.

Elsewhere the social media sector has weathered some challenges. Twitter has emerged because the sick man of the area, whereas even Facebook has had its share of controversies of late. Still, till they discover a higher manner for us to share our cat footage and political rants with everybody from distant cousins to grammar college classmates, social media is right here to remain.

Gig or Gouge?

I’ve weighed in as a gig financial system skeptic earlier than, and aside from the cab line at LaGuardia Airport and visions of hiring my retired self out as an expert canine walker, nothing has modified my thoughts on that entrance but. Certainly not the heroic story of the pregnant Lyft driver who continued to select up fares after going into labor.

Photo Bomb

All-Time Faves

“However lengthy we postpone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously uncomfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it relies upon, after all, on whether or not or not we respect ourselves.” (Vogue)

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All posts are the opinion of the writer. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially replicate the views of CFA Institute or the writer’s employer.

Image credit score: ©iStockphoto.com/Ellica_S

Paul McCaffrey

Paul McCaffrey is an editor at CFA Institute. Previously, he served as an editor on the H.W. Wilson Company. His writing has appeared in Financial Planning and DailyFinance, amongst different publications. He holds a BA in English from Vassar College and an MA in journalism from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism.

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