Nothing like a floor-to-ceiling glass partition around your workstation to make you feel important. Take it from me, as someone who’s just had one installed. I’ve been campaigning for this for almost a year now, and my efforts have come to fruition at last. Maybe I’ll finally command the respect my position deserves.
In all honesty, it’s no Mad Males-style corner office. The window is small and looks out onto another building, and the floor space is barely larger than that of a broom closet – a roomy one, mind you. The point is, people can now step into my office – literally. They must pass through a barrier in order to talk to me, and thus my face is somewhat of a limited resource (or appears to be). This enables me to convey more gravitas in my interactions. Such a simple upgrade!
Look, I don’t pretend to be an expert in commercial office fitouts. Melbourne has its share of those, and I’m not one of them. Still, I know a thing or two about what it takes to create an office geared for performance. It’s all about the flow of personal interactions – the user experience, if you will. Now, this might be an unpopular opinion, but I firmly believe that open-plan offices are not conducive to a UX that delivers the desired outcome of high performance.
Call me old hat, but hierarchies are essential to any organisation worth its salt. Certainly, most of the people at my office disagree with me on this point, including my bosses. Lord knows it took me a while to get HR on board with my request for a partition. But I’m sure it’s now clear to everyone that this was a clear oversight in the original office design. Melbourne is a place of innovation, true, but that doesn’t mean we need to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Hierarchies provide structural integrity. Think of the pyramids of Giza. Would they still be standing if they were square? Who can say?