The company where this pilot fish works is remodeling its buildings, floor by floor, to create a new “mobile” office space. But that sounds better than the reality.
“It consists of very small cubicles with low separating walls and only a chair, a height-adjustable desk, a docking station and a flat-screen monitor, available on a first come, first served basis,” says fish.
“There are a few workspaces designated as ‘resident,’ where you actually get your own, more typical cubicle office with cabinets, phones, etc. But for those of us designated ‘mobile workers,’ we have a locker, a laptop with an IP phone and a rolling computer bag, and we’re expected to find a spot and sit wherever we can.”
The arrangement is being touted as providing workers with more options for collaboration — and there are some designated open areas where fish and her “mobile” colleagues are supposed to collaborate.
But if they need a desk, they rarely sit at the same one for two days running. And if the mobile workers have several meetings in a row, they have to give up their space — so they sometimes sit at multiple desks over the course of a single day.
Result: All the mobile workers spend much of their time packing and unpacking their work areas and moving around like street people, dragging their belongings behind them.
“Before the transition, I argued vehemently with my manager that because of the nature of my work, I needed to have a ‘resident’ space,” fish says. “But he insisted that by the criteria set by upper management — which wasn’t shared with us — I had to be mobile, so I am.
“Flash forward a few months: I ran into my manager in the hallway, and he complained to me that he can never find me anymore. Well, duh, I’m mobile.
“But then I thought, maybe there’s an advantage to that after all!”
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