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Kathy Sierra: Brain Death by Dull Cubicle

I've actually been reading a lot lately about Elizabeth Gould's work, since i recently started a job* that returned me to the cubicle world after some time away from it. My view is that most firms, in the interest of expediency, don't realize what they're losing in stifling creativity by cramming people into dull settings.

I'm not really good at decorating my cubicle and stuff but i'm doing what i can to have something new to look at besides the computer screen.



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*Other than the setting, it's a great job.
 

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And I always scoffed at co-workers who decorated their offices with pictures of their golden retrievers.

If pictures are good, reality is better. Unleash a violent unneutered doberman into the office. That would surely stimulate their senses.
 

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The first few months after getting my first degree I found myself in my own office at work. Everyday I kept worrying I was growing stupider and more dull. Now I'm back in school, fleeing the "real world" and exploring reality.
 

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I dont think I left any wall uncovered. There was never a gray spot open. Animal and travel photos, jokes, and plants. And it was changed every couple of weeks are so.
 

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PS. All four of us in the our box did this. We also played jokes, had parties and games. And, no surprise, we were the most productive group in our section.
 

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PS. All four of us in the our box did this. We also played jokes, had parties and games. And, no surprise, we were the most productive group in our section.
YES. There's been recent research that supports this claim. "Daydreaming" and "doodling" help aid in attention and productivity.

If you think about it, this research makes alot of sense. Humans evolved in a constantly changing, diverse environment, and early humans walked up to 12 miles a day and had small but close-knit social networks. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, said that the typical cubicle represent an environment that goes completely against the way the brain works.

http://www.brainrules.net/exercise

In college, I experienced this. I was lucky enough to be in a supportive dorm where we played our fair share of pranks and had the general craziness and debauchery haha. Before tests, we would play ping pong or just screw around while studying (but we still got our work done). Despite my competitive pre-med environment in my major, non of us in my dorm were cut-throat. We all helped each other out (and we still keep in touch til this day). On the other hand, there were dorms with a huge concentration of pre-meds that had their doors closed ALL THE TIME, and people didn't help each other out (because every class was curved, and they didn't feel like helping out the competition). Which dorm had higher grades? Surprisingly us, and people always wondered how and why? If you think about the context in which humans evolved, it makes perfect sense.
 

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I have always been puzzled at the motivations of companies that take engineer's and writers (people who make a substantial amount and must do it with their gray matter) and then put them into a cubicle out of cost concerns. Why bother to hire them in the first place?

Of course, I also wonder about companies that refuse to install a shower and lockers so people can bike to work ( they say it is too expensive) and then hand out glazed donuts and wonder why their health insurance is so high.
 
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