Work space interruptus



  • Ok, so I work at this office that has around 35 people. There are no walls, or cubicles... this an Ad Agency.. with departments on  Accounting, Press, Communications, Design.. and ME (the only web developer).. 

    This office is usually pretty loud, people yell and goof around all the time. I usually just plug my earphones and go tu my "happy place" where I can concentrate, and it usually works.. People know when I'm on Ipod-mode to not disturb me. And I think I'm pretty good at isolating myself inside my own world.

    But lately the enviroment is starting to get on my nerves... specially when doing more complicated stuff, debugging or designing stages (basically all the time).. This shit is distracting the hell out of me, and getting me in a bad mood. Just watching people walk around all the time gets me out of "the zone".. and when I get out of it takes a lot of effort to get back in...

    Of course now that schools are on vacation.. there a couple of little kids running around 'helping' or whatever.. and this is were I say I just can't handle this shit anymore.. 

    Since I'm sure working at home is out of the equation... I never thought I would say this.. but I want a cubicle...  

    Am I becoming the grumpy bitter guy on the office?



  • I think that you should be happy to be in such an environment. My experience is that programmers have a tendency to push each other into creating an isolated, high-demand work environment with few pauses and other activities. Whenever I've had the privilege to work with more dynamic teams, It has helped me not only to socialize more, but to plan better and to work more efficiently, (maybe not so) suprisingly increasing productivity.



  • (continuing on last post). That said, it do agree that it can get annoying at times, especially when you have higher workload than your collegues. That is why i think it is important to sync work load somehow. On a side note, we had a guy in the office who would let his giant rottweiler walk around freely, eating garbage and other stuff. That was a bit over the top for me :-)



  • If you are actually able to get a cubicle, try to get one with 5-foot high walls. I've seen some progammers put into cubes with walls barely higher than their desks and it doesn't really do much for privacy or concentration than sitting in an open room. My cube has 5.5 foot walls and works fairly well. Companies are generally funny about that, though. They want to pay as little as possible. Another problem you'll have is that your coworkers might see you as a prima dona. If you are able to get some privacy for times when you need to concentrate, be sure to allocate time every day to join the frolics and socialize.



  •  @jetcitywoman said:

    If you are actually able to get a cubicle, try to get one with 5-foot high walls. I've seen some progammers put into cubes with walls barely higher than their desks and it doesn't really do much for privacy or concentration than sitting in an open room. My cube has 5.5 foot walls and works fairly well. Companies are generally funny about that, though. They want to pay as little as possible. Another problem you'll have is that your coworkers might see you as a prima dona. If you are able to get some privacy for times when you need to concentrate, be sure to allocate time every day to join the frolics and socialize.

    I don't think I'll be abe to get a cubicle, spacewise will be a nightmare to rearrange things here. On the other hand I've already asked to be moved to the some dark corner, let's see how this goes. Right now I'm at the single worst spot in the whole company.. in the midde of the office, by the corridor, in front of the door.

    I know I'm being kind of grumpy here, but come on.. keep those kids on a leash for god's sake.. I'm trying to work here.. and if they keep this shit up, I'm gonna be seen either as the Prima Dona or The Grinch. I don't care, I have a job to do here, and I rather have my social life outside the office walls, and spend time with my family and friends.

    If work is slow, fine let's party (we do that a lot here). But when I have a lot of work, I will not do overtime because of socializing and "frolication" (they do that a lot here also). 



  •  @Obfuscator said:

    Filed under: why does my phone have a maximum length for text areas?

    Better question: Why are you posting to the forum from your phone?



  • I could mostly understand your frustration until you mentioned the kids running around, then I understood it fully.  That's really unacceptable unless you work in a Day Care. 

    I don't get distracted by people walking around, but when people have conversations right by my desk (when it's obviously not by their desk) I want to say "hey you know we have conference rooms for this, right?  Maybe I just don't have the balls to come out of my cube and do it.  Maybe one day I will.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    I want to say "hey you know we have conference rooms for this, right? 
     

    I have the same problem where I work, and I do say this. All the time.

    Can't really say it helped as much as the Bose noise cancelling headphones. I highly recommend them to anyone having this issue BTW.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Better question: Why are you posting to the forum from your phone?

    Well, that is a whole other wtf related to me moving and the phone company owning the physical connection to my flat not cooperating with the internet provider. This fact combined with a 10-level phone support at both parties puts me in this situation. 4 months without internet at home now... Cursed be the netherlands! :-)



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I have the same problem where I work, and I do say this. All the time.

    Can't really say it helped as much as the Bose noise cancelling headphones.

    Technology FTW.

     

    Sometimes I want some headphones at the office, but I have numerous problems with it:

    A) I'd be psychologically isolated. It's annoying for both me and my approacher if I have to cut off the music every so often. I converse a lot, see, walk back and forth, etc.

    B) I prefer reasonable volume (nothing damaging, though), and the resultant anal aural leakage would likely piss off my coworkers.

    C) I don't want to play my good music constantly, turning it stale, old and boring. (I really don't get Repeaters, who constantly loop a song. For the sake of Pete, that's what 4 year olds do. Again! Again! Again! Whee!)

    D) My ears would tire from the constant injecting of sound.



  • @dhromed said:

    Technology FTW.

    D) My ears would tire from the constant injecting of sound.

     

    That happens to me a lot.. so I have to take a few hours without music, sometimes a whole day. At these times I usually become the selective attention Zen Master. 

    I rather have ambient music played on speakers like at my last job (we were only 4 people), but around here we will be listening to reggeaton and salsa all day long.. that will make me go postal in a about a week, so I won't even suggest it.

    I think that having music or even radio played quiets down people.. that and banning the damned facebook from workplace. Why on earth do they have to comment the pictures out loud?  (by loud I mean screaming from one corner to the other) Doesn't facebook have like a comment thing and chat box?




  • I have to say, I sympathise with you. I get a lot of guys wandering round here having conversations loudly on their mobile phones (mostly personal calls), and that gets pretty irritating. I eventually got rid of one persistent perpetrator just by interrupting his call, and asking him to take his conversation elsewhere. Very politely, you understand, but quite insistently, so that his phone call was well messed up by the time I'd finished talking to him, explaining that there were plenty of other places he could go etc etc blah. He hasn't come back. As to the general din, the only thing is to push for a quiet area where you can get installed. If it's a productivity issue (it is), then management should listen to that, especially in times like these, when they are probably unwilling to hire more staff.


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