>Demarco also sited an IBM study that the ideal environment is an office, not
>a cube.  With 100 sq ft of space and 64 sq ft of desk space.  I don't quite
>have that here, but have used that in the past and it IS the best approach,
I believe I've seen the study referred to--  I probably have either
an article about it or a copy somewhere in my archives--

The study was in preparation for a new facility to be built
Somewhere.  They wanted to evaluate the best environment for a
programmer.  They evaluated such things as the space needed to hold a
terminal (this was pre-PC days), hold several opened-out greenbar
listings, network connections, power, storage, etc. etc.

Plus the fact that people tended to change project teams from time to
time, and that they occasionally need to hold meetings.

The result was that each person (no matter -what- level-- manager,
programmer, grunt) got a 10' x 10' office.  Not a cubicle, an office.
With a door.  And most (all?) of them had a window.  When a person
moved to a new team, the FromOffice and the ToOffice were the same
size; the contents could be moved and everything would still fit!   (:

Furniture was modular, and included work surfaces, overhead storage
bins, mini conference table, chairs, etc.  Each occupant could choose
among the 4 or 5 options available.

Each floor of the new facility would have (IIRC) 4 clusters of
offices, plus common conference rooms (I don't recall if there was a
lounge area near rest rooms or not).

They mocked up several of these new offices and had people living in
them to see how well they worked.  The article I read showed that
they had even mocked up the windows, with pictures as if they were
actually in the new building!

Of course, this was IBM-- and no company I've worked for since then
has seen the advantage of 'real' offices vs cubicles (indeed-- the
company I work for now has the habit of re-arranging large blocks of
cubicles every 6 months or so as the current idea of 'efficiency'
takes hold.  One company I've heard of has everyone out in the open--
no partitions, no cubicles, just rows of desks.  Modern.).

--Paul E Musselman

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