Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The organization where I work is one of the leading organizations in Canada -- North America, in fact. We are known as a "Centre for Excellence", and the organization has definitely earned that title. A study done by our organization was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. No small potatoes, by any means... But when it comes to organizational thinking, well, let's just say there is room for improvement there.
I have worked for the organization for ten years, and my work space was wonderful, with lots of space and natural light. I could watch the seasons change, and any time my eyes needed a rest, I could look out the windows at the clouds or sun, or rain, or whatever. And the air quality was good -- just like little Baby Bear's porridge -- not too hot and not too cold. Everything was perfect, until a design company was hired to "improve" our work space.
The first thing they did was build walls around us; they call it a "pod". Natural light? Gone. They gave us desks that are too small; all our space ... gone. Then they squeezed us all into one little corner where there is no air. We feel crammed into each other's personal space, but because of the new walls on the "pod" our area actually takes up more space than it did before. And everything is grey. The good thing is, we get more work done because we're too depressed to socialize.
My advice to any designer would be, if it ain't broke, don't fix it -- unless you're the one who has to live with it.