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Off topic: Aren't we lucky to work from home? ;-)
Thread poster: Dees
Dees  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:15
English to French
+ ...
Jul 21, 2006

Shrinking office syndrome

Businesses are squeezing more and more people into smaller offices. And the pressure on overcrowded personal space, at home, work and on public transport has never been more intense.

Does it feel like you're getting less and less space at work? Is that next-door desk now butting ever closer? Is it starting to feel like your office is taking part in a battery-farming experiment?

A report from a property company shows that companies are "sweating" their offices to get more people into less space. The research, carried out by Knight Frank, shows that the amount of floor space allocated per employee is being cut by up to a third.

Rest of the article is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5193962.stm

I particularly liked the comments from readers at the bottom of the page...


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:15
Member
English to French
Appalling Jul 22, 2006

I had never thought about this trend, but it is obviously part of cost streamlining/cutting/efficiencies or whatever it is called.
This kind of environment would certainly get to my nerves. Gosh.

Very glad indeed to be alone in my own ca. 28 cubic meters with a view!


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Joanna Borowska  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:15
English to Polish
Lucky us :o) Jul 22, 2006

Mitsuko Moine wrote:

I particularly liked the comments from readers at the bottom of the page...


Yeah, especially this one:

The running joke in our office is that the next thing they will do is have 'bunk desks' with little ladders that will take you to the top.




Joanna


[Edited at 2006-07-22 02:25]


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 05:15
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
We are so lucky:) Jul 22, 2006

For 22 years I went from office job to office job and the offices continually shrunk or at least they seemed to.

In the city of London companies are merging constantly. Redundancies are rife. Offices are closed and the remaining staff are squeezed into any area available in the takeover company. My last 9-5 job was in a major bank which merged with another and staff from both banks, who weren't laid off, were relocated into a new building. It was a modern building which looked stunning from the outside. You walk through the reception area which was huge and sparse and it had an atrium with this huge tree growing up the middle of the building. For people looking in from the outside it looked so spacious but once you went upstairs and looked into the offices where we actually were expected to work it was horrible. Like battery chicken farming but on a human scale. It was a miserable environment and I was miserable:(

Now I work from the comfort of my own home and I am in charge of how much space I have. We have our own little Chinese SOHO (small office home office) and it is heaven compared to where I've been before.

In a few months we'll be moving to an island beach house and I know I am going to appreciate it all the more because I know what the alternatives are.

I love this business:)

Mark


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casey
United States
Local time: 14:15
Member
Japanese to English
And no more trains!! Jul 22, 2006

The last office I worked in was quite big, but I'm just happy not to have to get on the rush hour trains anymore.

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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:15
French to English
+ ...
Top 10 reasons working from home is heaven Jul 22, 2006

1. no public transportation needed
2. no parasite noises when you are concentrating
3. no dress code (when you don't feel like it)
4. reduced dry cleaners bill
4. good coffee
5. healthy munchies (if you feel like it)
6. 4-legged professional assistants (one of which is in charge of warm feet in winter)
7. your own space (even if small)
8. your choice of music (without mandatory ear phones)
9. ability to do laundry while working
10. no need to go outside for a smoke


Just on the points above, I figure I save about 2.5 hours per day and a significant amount of stress.

Sometimes, though, I do miss the social interaction with colleagues!

[Edited at 2006-07-22 07:21]


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Open-plan offices can be hell Jul 22, 2006

Thank you so much, Mitsuko of reminding us how lucky we are indeed.:-)
I did a lot of jobs (maybe 50) before I became a translator. Worked in several open-plan offices, some could be hell, especially if someone tears you to pieces and the whole staff of two departments is listening.

Some comments in the article are really heartbreaking. Some things seem to be bagatelles, but would bother me too like:
Silly as it sounds, I actually remember secretly celebrating when the guy next to me decided to buy a new pair of shoes as his old pair had caused me several weeks of misery.

What is worse is if you sit next to someone who blows his nose like a horn every 10 mins, and chomps on his food like a zoo animal....


Regards from a happy loner


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 05:15
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Precisely.. Jul 22, 2006

Patricia Lane wrote:
10. no need to go outside for a smoke


Totally with you on that one Patricia:)

Mark


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
English to Polish
+ ...
On the other side... Jul 22, 2006

My sleeping room is very small and half of it is my office, with shelves on the walls of an 'office' part making it a little claustrophobic.

Professional assistant's fur is everywhere, and the beast sometimes barks loudly when someone happens to pass outside my apartment's door (I live in a block of flats).

There are only 3 computers for 4 persons (with one always occupied by my son addicted to a game I do not understand - I was careless enough to promise him a top-shelf game machine if he has a good place in a mathematical contest at school. Just to be sure the specs are sufficient, he won it country-wide, so I absolutely had to keep the promise). This can cause conflicts unheard of in the office. And we do not want a fourth computer (a living room is a computer-free zone).

When something breaks (and it constantly does given the amount of machinery around) I cannot call a service department and have a tea while they are fixing it.

My wife can have a look into my instant messenger (I would somehow explain it all to my boss).

My daughter somehow broke a password and commented on dirty limericks I wrote in my spare time.



Summarizing: this is paradise - I do not want to go back to a crampled cubicle.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
Combination of both Jul 22, 2006

To me a combination of working (translating, studying, learning how to use different software) and going out once and a while (interpreting, software teaching) is the ideal combination. Otherwise, I tend to turn too introvert and well, you have to hand out your business-card too.

11th reason. No hierarchical structure.


[Edited at 2006-07-22 08:04]


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Carolyn Brice  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:15
French to English
+ ...
Definitely Jul 22, 2006

Williamson wrote:

11th reason. No hierarchical structure.


[Edited at 2006-07-22 08:04]


Number 1 reason for me!


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:15
French to Portuguese
+ ...
You are so right! Jul 22, 2006

I love to work at home for all of the reasons you guys mentioned!

I can also baby-sit my 8-and-a-half-month-old son in the mean time, which is wonderful but sometimes the inconvenient part when I have to meet the deadlines (I always do, though).

I love to be my own boss because I'm a very kind and understanding one. I do not get angry with myself if I planned to work at a certain time and didn't.

I also love the fact I don't have schedules and work when I can (this meaning 2 things: when I have time, my son is sleeping for instance + when I feel like it).

And when I feel like and don't have too much work, I take my son out and go for a walk.


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
French to English
+ ...
I know what you mean... Jul 22, 2006

Patricia Lane wrote:

1. no public transportation needed
2. no parasite noises when you are concentrating
3. no dress code (when you don't feel like it)
4. reduced dry cleaners bill
4. good coffee
5. healthy munchies (if you feel like it)
6. 4-legged professional assistants (one of which is in charge of warm feet in winter)
7. your own space (even if small)
8. your choice of music (without mandatory ear phones)
9. ability to do laundry while working
10. no need to go outside for a smoke


Just on the points above, I figure I save about 2.5 hours per day and a significant amount of stress.

Sometimes, though, I do miss the social interaction with colleagues!

[Edited at 2006-07-22 07:21]



...to the point that I almost wished I still smoked - just because I can if I want!

As for the social interaction, sigh....

Isn't that why most of us visit the fora?


Paula


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
Reason 12 Jul 22, 2006

You can work in the most most favourable country from a fiscal point of view.

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Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:15
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Home office, bed office Jul 22, 2006

Advantages:

- You can work in your pajamas or underwear.
- There is fast coffee service
- Sometimes, your chair looks and feels like a bed. Wait. It's a bed!
- No taxi or bus fare, gas money or commuting time.
- You share your office with people you like
- Your lunch is something more than just a sandwich.
- No office gossip.
- You can play PC games openly.
- You can get a neck massage, delivered with a smile.
- You can stay in the bathroom as long as you wish.

Disadvantages:

- Sometimes you forget what the outside world looks like.
- You're called for home repairs or moving furniture just when you're struggling with an obscure term.
- You have to clean your own bathroom
- There are Power Rangers and broken toys (which you promised to repair, some day) all over your office.

Indeed, I love my home office. And with the laptop, I can write this from my warm bed, in pajamas, a cold Saturday morning. I love this job!

[Editado a las 2006-07-22 16:20]


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