IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft Surface Headphones help mitigate the distractions of horrible open plan offices

 [Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

Dan Lyons’ new e book “Lab Rats:  How Silicon Valley Made Paintings Depressing for the Remainder of Us” makes it beautiful transparent how terrible the brand new pattern towards open plan workplaces is. Initially, other folks believed open workplace plans could be an important growth to the former (and terrible) method to workplace design – the scary cubicle. Which is ironic, for the reason that the originator of the cubicle hated what his advent had develop into.

In line with Lyons’ well-researched e book, open workplace plans – which coupled ill-conceived new age ideas with deficient implementation – have been designed to fortify productiveness. They now not simplest did the other, however they destroyed task delight, decreased ethical and larger suicides within the companies that deployed them.

One of the fascinating tales within the e book published how an excessively influential group inside Apple – after being introduced in to peer the cutting edge new “flying saucer” headquarters – threatened to go away in the event that they have been compelled to paintings there.  This group had sufficient affect to be transferred again to one of the vital extra conventional office-based floorplans, which considerably advanced each their productiveness and diminished the chances that they would depart Apple for greener pastures. 

One of the commonplace lawsuits with those open plan workplaces – which might be relatively designed to appear to be massive dwelling rooms – is the over the top noise that defines running in them.  Getting rid of this drawback used to be the principle design focal point for the brand new Microsoft Floor Headphones.  I’ve been the use of them closely in contemporary weeks (and favored ‘em such a lot I already purchased a couple of as presents in consequence).

The issue

As hated as booths are, they have got one vital benefit over open plan workplaces: the cubicle partitions are most often made up of noise-absorbing subject matter that passively reduces ambient noise within the workplace. For those who take away this subject matter, you’re incessantly left with onerous products and services that now not simplest don’t cut back the noise, however appear to bop the sound round extra, making the distance incredible noisy. (The similar factor is correct in lately’s much-louder eating places: minimalist design developments have created extremely noisy institutions. Now not that I’m suggesting sporting headphones when you dine…)

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