Monday, November 22, 2004

The flexibility of modular offices:

Many years ago I worked at Intel in a one-story building with about 140 modular office cubes. One day the chip development leader came to the office manager and said, “We’re starting development on the next generation chip. We need thirty more offices for developers who will be transferring to this site.”
The building appeared to be full without them. “Where will I put them?” asked the office manager. “Think of something,” replied the leader.
The office manager made an elegant plan, and soon she was moving us, one by one, to new office cubes. The moves were quite non-disruptive and almost continuous. We each moved to a slightly smaller office, and gradually a big space opened up in the middle of the building. After six weeks, the office manager asked the development leader, “So, where are all the new people.?” “Oh didn’t we tell you?” he replied, “we changed the plan, they’re not coming.” No one was murdered, but we all got to keep our smaller offices.

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