Open office landscapes - hip or hopeless?

A few years ago I was participating in creating a open office at work. It really looked nice, everyone could see each other and the thought was that we should change seats every day, in order to meet new colleagues. I must admit, being an extrovert person, it was really hard for me to concentrate on my work. People didn´t hesitate to disturb me, and I discovered it was impossible to get work done. So I ended up answering mails and taking my work home instead. I actually thought it was just me struggling with this way of working. But every time I talk to my friends or other people in my network about this issue, everyone states the same. They hated this way of working, they couldn´t concentrate, they got more tired from constant interruptions and they ended up working at home. The argument for working in these environments would be transparency, knowledge sharing etc. But it seems like people are more focused on concentrating so they really try not to pay attention to the talk around them, witch shoots down knowledge sharing. So I must conclude from my little market analyses, that unless you work as a stockbroker, in a sales team or other types of business where the buzz makes you productive, open office landscapes are no longer hip, but rather hopeless!

The death of “out of office reply”

I am in a meeting so I will not be able to read your mail the next 2 hours. This is an example of time consuming information overload, probably with the best intentions. But I am not interested in spending time on reading that you're not available. Instead write me when you are, and if I really want to know what you are doing, write it on twitter, jaiku, facebook etc. I believe that its time to declare the out of office reply for dead. Its time to give information quality not quantity. And if everything goes wrong I bet you still have a phone. So next time you receive an "out of office reply" bend your head and have 1 minutes peace. So the next time I get a reply I will feel excited when I am reading your answer, instead of the disappointment of time loss.

“Mentor” a buzzword?

I am hearing "mentor" everywhere. The government wants to give immigrants a mentor in order to integrate them in Denmark. The newspapers business section recommends leaders to get a mentor. Television has a show with people presenting there inventions and ideas to a board of mentors. Is it a buzz or are we just starting to see the potential of others experience. It makes sense, let me find one of my own so this protege can develop herself.

Social networking

The world is getting smaller, we tend to say. What about the Internet? From being one big mass of users around the world, social networking tools now helps us get in touch with exactly the people that match our interest. The potential is overwhelming. Differences such as nationality, race, religion etc. no longer keeps us apart, now similarity gets us together.