SQUEEZED OFFICE SPACE AT SHELL
Well we moved into the new buildings in Houston. What an utter disappointment. If this is the new face of Shell (small cubes, no privacy and poor working conditions ) then I can see Shell having problems attracting top people. How many top students want to work in a 6×6 cube while the head of HR lives in his glass palace? Nice one Bruce
COMMENT ON SHELL BLOG BY WAYNE ALSO ON 18 FEB 2014
Poor Raymond, we have been sitting in open office for more than two years. A JG B is also sitting next to us. All in the pretext of cost saving!
COMMENT ON SHELL BLOG “FROM AN OLD EP HAND” – POSTED 18 FEB 2014
@Raymond: my commiserations! I escaped the open offices until my retirement. Each time rooms needed to be shared from a certain jobgroup level I made a promotion and had a room to myself. I remember that in 1977 or thereabouts Don Schaefer was the great mover and shaker behind the introduction of open offices. Everyone was against and revolts were imminent, so he lined up a fact finding team of 7 senior people (all jg 1-2 department heads) plus the junior project engineer (jg5) who had to execute the plan, to visit several open offices in Germany. Except for the project engineer they all travelled first class as was the rule on business travel for jg3+. They came back and had to say it was good, provided you built the offices first class. Otherwise it would be a disaster. (They all lied, but arms were twisted…).
In the end BSP succumbed and had a disastrous open office. Rats running along the beams in the ceiling. Few people could concentrate on the work. Managers had their own office.
All capitulated to the gurus and consultants who kept selling the open office space. Then came the roaring 90s and SIEP went open office. Even jg UN (Tiny Tim, may his smoking soul RIP) were sitting in open offices. At around the same time Shell started to go quickly down the drain. Could there be a correlation with open offices?
Sickness leave goes up sharply in open offices. They are good for teamwork in some industries where people have to share ideas and emotions like advertising firms or media companies. It is fine for a short while when people have to get to know each other. But once you start to do some complex engineering and thinking, you need a quiet environment. For HR it is fine, this is simple and routine work.
The Norwegians understood it, they had nice open plan offices and for each a very small office you could sit in if you needed to think.
I genuinely feel sorry for all the people who are forced to do intelligent work in a substandard open office environment.
Shell Oil quietly downsizes its downtown operations: 28 January 2014
It’s One Shell of a building, but will giant oil company stay put?: 19 January 2010
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