Thread regarding Cenovus Energy layoffs

Open office proven to be less collaborative

Now that open offices are the norm, their limitations have become clear. Research indicates that removing partitions is actually much worse for collaborative work and productivity than closed offices ever were. But something as expensive and logistically complicated as an office design is difficult to walk back, so, as Jeff Goldblum wisely intones in Jurassic Park, life finds a way. In offices where there are no walls, millions of workers have embraced a work-around to reclaim a little bit of privacy: wireless headphones.

According to Ethan Bernstein, a professor at Harvard Business School who studies organizational behavior, it makes sense that this subtle tactic for avoiding constant interaction has seeped into office environments. “People are very good at creating spaces for themselves, and these days you look at everybody and almost without exception they’re on their phones with headphones in their ears,” he says. In a 2018 study, Bernstein and his team found that open offices decrease face-to-face interaction among co-workers by as much as 70 percent, in stark contrast to the designers’ stated goal of collaborative teamwork.

According to the design psychologist Sally Augustin, all of this irritation has come about because open offices ignore some essential elements of human psychological development. “We get revved up just being around other people, so in a workplace you’ve always got that force energizing you,” she says. “When you’re doing intellectual work, you’ll do it better in an environment that’s generally less energizing.” Although headphones can help filter auditory interruptions, they can’t block visual ones, which Augustin says can be just as disruptive to performance and focus.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT

11 replies (most recent on top)

I haven’t seen our VP in his cubicle since we got on our floor.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-lyvk

What group do you work in?

On our floor all the Directors and VPs quickly snapped up the offices like true leaders do!.. they haven’t been seen sitting in a cube and you can hear them laughing when the office door is closed

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-gili

That’s where they did a bunch of changes in the field and almost unionized the whole thing as employees revolted. He had to go up there and beg them not to do it. One of his finer moments for sure.

His screw ups are a long list but always get ignored. I’m sure he still gets his exceeds expectations rating even though this integrator lack there of has been an epic failure.

Sends out notes about how great everything is and just glosses over all the real issues.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-ftbt

What is the code word Apollo for? Not familiar with that one.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-9xpf

We all know it’s about saving money. I do begrudgingly respect the fact the VPs and mgrs are in the same cubicles. Will be interesting to see how long that lasts.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-8kwv

Your all fools if you think the cubes were done for any reason other than the bottom line. Stuff more people in and reduce costs regardless of what you call it or how you brand it

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-5uzd

Little Z’s biggest screwup was Apollo! This ranks up there too

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-3fei

If our shareholders had a brain between any of them they would be asking how much this failure of a non integration / integration is costing us. This has to be one of Drew’s biggest screw ups ever. 2 years on and still not a single company on a single platform.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-3cfr

I haven't seen or heard those 3 Rs in a long long time! At least it probably cost less than the functional model consultant billings.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-2bpt

What really helps is sitting outside the men’s bathroom hearing all that. Great design people.

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-1dag

Here at Cenovus we thrive at being behind the times and soaking up consultants b---s---. Remember rigorous, ready, and respectful? How much did that slogan cost us in consultant fees?

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Post ID: @YMfvjeT-csb

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