Open Office Seating

Open Office Seating is for the Birds

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or possibly just not working at a company that’s trying to get with the times, we’re at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to office privacy. Offices around the country are shifting their seating policy to an open plan, and that’s totally fine. What’s not fine, is this new wave of offices promoting open, unassigned seating.

It’s one thing to not have walls at your desk. I get it. As someone who is in a “creative” role at my company, it encourages inter-team communication and forces you to actually talk to the people that you work with (whether or not that’s a good thing is still out for review.) There’s a new trend, however, that branches off of the “open seating” fad, where you don’t have an assigned desk at all. This is my line in the sand.

Musical chairs is a child’s game

I don’t know about you all, but I’m a creature of habit. When I get to the office every morning, I want to sit in the same seat, look out the same window, and have the same crusty coffee mug residue all over my desk. I don’t want to get into some sadistic game of musical chairs every morning. Between my God awful commute from hell at the hands of the MBTA, and my lack of being a “morning person,” this desk selection process is just one more added conflict that takes its toll on my already-waning-by-the-second patience. The early birds get the window seats, as they say, and that makes me the late, hung over bird with a seat by the shitter.

But what about all of this desk stuff I don’t really need?

The constant changing of scenery is not the only problem with the unassigned, open seating policy. Where am I supposed to put all my shit? For someone that’s supposed to be in a tech-savvy, digital role, I’m incredibly old school. I do a lot of my writing and deck building/editing in good old-fashioned pen and paper. Give me a sharpie and some computer paper and let me cook, fam. Without assigned seating, I have no place for all of my mad scientist notes. I have to try to keep an already disorganized mind organized across a series of moving parts. It’s like trying to play a blind guy in a game of Jenga, the corporate machine always wins. Or something like that.

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But first, a Zack Morris timeout.

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There goes the neighborhood

Your desk-mates at work are supposed to be some of your closest confidants. But what happens when they change every day? If you’re anything like me, this means that you know the names of approximately 2 people outside of your direct team and talk to no one all day. Personally, I don’t mind this piece that much. Gives me more time to get some actual work done.

There is one bright spot in our otherwise bleak, open-air future. Pair constantly moving seats with logging out of all work messenger apps, and it’s like you don’t even exist. It’s the office equivalent of moving to a doomsday shelter in the middle of Montana. I’m not going to complain about that part. Just give me a well, a few dozen cans of spam, and some wifi, and we’ll all be ready when the workpocalypse comes.