asks: "A friend of mine was visiting a client in their new offices. All very flash, award winning architecture, but virtually unusable as a place to work. For a start, the desks were the width of keyboard + mouse, and just big enough for the computer. No space for manuals or other paperwork. This was done to enforce the clear desk policy. No clutter was allowed - apparently the architect was still allowed final say over the use of the office, and even forbade such extras as plants being added. I've also been in offices that took open plan to extremes and mixed meeting areas and (in one case) a coffee shop with working areas. The noise pollution was extreme."
Sounds bad. What kind of office architechture (and environment) do you think sponsors a constructive work environment? Are there any other other office layout horror stories like this one?
"Being in the UK, I've never experienced cubicles in the Dilbert sense, and open plan offices are the norm. I don't know whether the isolation of a cube or office would drive me insane or make me more productive.
So what factors affect your happiness at work? Have you ever changed job based purely on a poor environment?"