We have an extremely open-plan layout in work — no partitions, just long benches of keyboards and monitors. It looks a bit like this, but with less designer furniture and more Office Depot:
I’m still not sure what to make of the frequent instances of Big Table Desking. While this kind of workstation arrangement is no doubt a new trend, the no-privacy work place is a throwback to the 1950s office pool, a line up of identical desks classroom style. Is it the peer to peer seating position that overcomes this? How would it? By building community? As opposed the pilot and passenger 747, catholic church model of everybody facing “forward”. Does the Big Table Desk break down this heirarchy by facing people towards one another, sharing a big desk instead of staking out territory? Is the big table desk a microcosm, a representation of a healthy organizational structure?
No comment ;)
It seems to be popular with designers, presumably due to their collaborative working needs.
Mind you, it also looks a bit like a Taylorist workplace layout from 1904, of which Wired says:
American engineer Frederick Taylor was obsessed with efficiency and oversight and is credited as one of the first people to actually design an office space. Taylor crowded workers together in a completely open environment while bosses looked on from private offices, much like on a factory floor.