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"Hot Desks" - Best Way to Get Work Done?
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Show students those pictures of the modern "open office" plan and they'll probably think this looks like fun and is the way they want to work:

 

chairs-computers-contemporary-1170412.jpg

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But then ask the if they think they'd get a lot of work done in a setting like this. These new office plans are supposed to encourage collaboration. "Hot Desking" occurs when you don't really have a dedicated desk - you move to wherever you need to/want to in the office.

 

We're finding out that this arrangement isn't so ideal after all.  As Yvaine Ye points out in this article (Why hot-desking and open-plan offices are bad for you), everyone wants a relaxed and functional place to work but:

 

...while there is some evidence that workers do move around more in open-plan settings, ... it seems it’s not to talk to each other. The lack of privacy ... makes us retreat into our shells, putting on headphones to block background noise and emailing and instant messaging people just a few desks away, according to a 2018 study.

Yvaine also quotes a 2004 study (which definitely needs to be updated, but if you've worked in an open-plan setting you'll relate to this) which found:

 

...no evidence of a productivity boost, but there was a definite minus: animal territorialism. “Users often try to claim a familiar place by arriving at work earlier or by leaving items behind during their absence...

 

Discussion/Activity:

 

Students will probably recall how difficult it is for them to effectively study in a crowded place like their dorms. This might be a good topic for a quick class survey. Show pictures of an open-office setting and then ask:

 

Would you like to work in a company like this?

1 - Absolutely

2 - Probably

3 - Not Sure

4 - Nah

 

Ask this again after you've had a little discussion with them about the possible drawbacks and I'll bet you'll see very different results. Could be a good time to try the polling feature in the Cengage mobile app:

 

MobilePollingDemoOpenOffice.gif

 

 

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