Re: Clustered humans in research settings

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Sat Jun 08 2002 - 18:43:03 MDT

I would have to concur with the close-proximity-gives-improved-communication
obervation. Several of my past software development projects, and indeed my
current day-job workstation are in a workgroup setting, with open-plan desks
and low (18" above the desktop) dividers. I used to find this arrangement
would hurt my productivity because I would be distracted by other people's
conversations... but then I discovered ear-plugs & headphones. When I need
to focus, I put in ear-plugs and/or headphones and hammer away at the
keyboard. Everyone around me knows not to disturb me for trivial stuff...
but they ALSO know that if they have a question, or something interesting
comes up I don't mind being disturbed. The combination of open plan + close
proximity + ear plugs is the most productive I have ever worked with.

Michael Roy Ames

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