Panasonic’s "Wear Space" Helps People Concentrate in Open-Plan Offices

Megalith

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The hatred of open offices has led to Panasonic’s latest prototype device, which aims to help people concentrate in distracting environments: developed by the company’s Future Life Factory division, the so-called “Wear Space” comprises a big, curved strip of fabric that cuts off a user’s horizontal FOV by about 60 percent. It is also fitted with headphones for canceling out noise.

The user's viewing angle can be adjusted by pulling or pushing the two ends of the device further apart, or closer together, to narrow or widen the visibility, depending on the desired level of concentration. This partition is fixed around the wearer's head by a pair of noise-cancelling headphones fitted to the inside of the curved body. These are used to block out ambient sounds, and feature three levels of noise cancellation depending on the environment.
 

The Mad Atheist

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..... lol. STAY FOCUS, GET BACK TO WORK!!!
Horse-Blinders.jpg
 

brentsg

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But a company could pack employees tighter than Southwest Airlines passengers flying economy.
Won't someone "think of the savings".(n)

I remember when my first awesome tech job moved over to China and Poland, the people that we were forced to train squeezed 2 employees into a small cubicle, and they rotated shifts through the space so it was always in use. Ugh..
 

DejaWiz

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Wasn't Yahoo pretty much the one that started this new open floorplan craze with a completely bullshit article a while back?
 

jedijeb13

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Not only in the office and tech space, when we built our new lab building 15 years ago they decided to go with an Open Lab concept. Worse thing ever considering cross contamination of samples. Just what happens when admin doesn't talk to the chemist who actually do the work.

Blinders was also the first thing I thought of also :)
 

JosiahBradley

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Wait, people "like"cubicles? I guess this squarley puts me in the millennial category finally. Cubicles are like horse stables. You can't talk to your coworkers about issues and you are super cramped. Just because it's open doesn't mean it has to be loud. People can respect each other and talk outside or whisper. And a cubicle does nothing for sound prevention anyhow being not walled to the ceiling. Go ahead flog me but I like open area workspaces.
 

brentsg

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Having not worked in the full implementation of this, I hadn’t thought it through.

You don’t even have a desk. Good grief.. I mean even when I’d be onsite with a client for a week they would give me a space to call my own.
 

motqalden

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my office just moved to the open concept. It definitely improves the employees around me since they can ask for help more easily, but my productivity is suffering. Bring on the horse blinders!
 

IndyColtsFan

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Wait, people "like"cubicles? I guess this squarley puts me in the millennial category finally. Cubicles are like horse stables. You can't talk to your coworkers about issues and you are super cramped. Just because it's open doesn't mean it has to be loud. People can respect each other and talk outside or whisper. And a cubicle does nothing for sound prevention anyhow being not walled to the ceiling. Go ahead flog me but I like open area workspaces.

Several recent studies have shown that open office plans actually decrease communication and collaboration. Harvard Business Review has an article fairly recently that was floating around on LinkedIn. The open office movement is a fad but unfortunately a fad which will probably stay because it is much cheaper. And let’s be honest - that’s the primary driver.

I’ve worked in cubicles, offices, and open plans. Obviously the offices are the best, but I’d take a cubicle over an open space any day. There are too many distractions and as an introvert, I hate it for many other reasons. I typically have headphones in all day or grab a conference room for a few hours a day to do my work.
 
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Krazy925

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Wasn't Yahoo pretty much the one that started this new open floorplan craze with a completely bullshit article a while back?
I googled quickly looking for a source on this. I’d love to see it since I’m friendly with an old senior level person there. It would let me rib the shit out of him.
 

brentsg

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Several recent studies have shown that open office plans actually decrease communication and collaboration. Harvard Business Review has an article fairly recently that was floating around on LinkedIn. The open office movement is a fad but unfortunately a fad which will probably stay because it is much cheaper. And let’s be honest - that’s the primary driver.

I’ve worked in cubicles, offices, and open plans. Obviously the offices are the best, but I’d take a cubicle over an open space any day. There are too many distractions and as an introvert, I hate it for many other reasons. I typically have headphones in all day or grab a conference room for a few hours a day to do my work.

I worked in the tail end of the "Bell System" from 1996 - 2005.. It had been Western Electric, then AT&T when I hired on. I was literally in a facility that used to house phone repair, from when you got your home from phone from the phone company. It was 2 story, 12 acres under roof.

The senior employees used to tell stories about the workspace from years prior. Everyone had their own desk, but they were in rows and columns, neatly arranged one after the other. Everything was open with no partitions, and the manager was situated like a teacher at the head of the class. When I worked there, the ceilings were still stained yellow/brown from all the smoking that used to be commonplace.

It's interesting to see how all this has evolved, and is currently devolving into trendiness. People can rip on cubicles all they want.. at least people had -some- privacy and a place to call home 8+ hours per day.
 
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IndyColtsFan

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I worked in the tail end of the "Bell System" from 1996 - 2005.. It had been Western Electric, then AT&T when I hired on. I was literally in a facility that used to house phone repair, from when you got your home from phone from the phone company. It was 2 story,

The senior employees used to tell stories about the workspace from years prior. Everyone had their own desk, but they were in rows and columns, neatly arranged one after the other. Everything was open with no partitions, and the manager was situated like a teacher at the head of the class. When I worked there, the ceilings were still stained yellow/brown from all the smoking that used to be commonplace.

It's interesting to see how all this has evolved, and is currently devolving into trendiness. People can rip on cubicles all they want.. at least people had -some- privacy and a place to call home 8+ hours per day.

In my area, we have around 12 or so rows of desks, with each row having 4 desks. The managers sit in a cluster of desks at the front. I’m lucky in that my desk is at the front and I have no one across from me, but most rows face another row so you can stare at the guy at the desk across from you. It sucks, but even executives sit in this open plan. It is so dumb.

We have “social hubs” on each floor with free soda and these guys hand out jeans days as “rewards” very frequently. It is embarrassing. If any of you have read the AT Off Topic forums in the past, you may have seen many of my work stories - several people have told me I should write a book because some of the stories are hilarious, in a sad way.
 

brentsg

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In my area, we have around 12 or so rows of desks, with each row having 4 desks. The managers sit in a cluster of desks at the front. I’m lucky in that my desk is at the front and I have no one across from me, but most rows face another row so you can stare at the guy at the desk across from you. It sucks, but even executives sit in this open plan. It is so dumb.

We have “social hubs” on each floor with free soda and these guys hand out jeans days as “rewards” very frequently. It is embarrassing. If any of you have read the AT Off Topic forums in the past, you may have seen many of my work stories - several people have told me I should write a book because some of the stories are hilarious, in a sad way.

Those kinds of stories are fun in a Dilbert sort of way, for anyone that's been there.

I'm thinking back to my personal library of technical docs.. man. I get that people probably have more electronic access these days, but each employee had shelf after shelf of technical books from training classes. In a sense it was dumb to store those for everyone, but having them hand-marked with notes from training was invaluable. I guess that sort of thing is lost today. Back in that day, we took a ton of 4-5 week training courses (8 hour days). The Bell System was technically organized if nothing else.
 

J3RK

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Yeah, can we just get back to having offices?

(well, I have an office, but this is getting ridiculous)

It's pretty apparent that people do not enjoy working this way. Yes, for very specific types of teams that need constant collaboration it can work. However, most people do not function this way, and forcing them to do so is almost sure to DECREASE productivity. Or at least decrease a healthy state of mind.
 

Kdawg

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we're gonna look so stupid in the future.

oh wait, we already do....

j14uK2p.jpg
 

capt_cope

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I'm sure my company will move to the open-office concept eventually, and when they do I'll transition to working from home full-time. There's no way I could function at even a fraction of my current level in that sort of environment. Even moving to a cubicle would be pushing it from a distraction standpoint. I'm not too concerned about privacy, my office has a glass wall and I assume IT monitors everything I do on my work machine.
 

cdr_74_premium

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Oh, so as much as you socialize to talk about work and stuff, get everyone on the same page and all, you still need some seclusion to be able to achieve peak performance? Who would've thought?!

But that's not why those companies come up with this shit. It's micromanagement gone full retarded. They don't trust you to do your job, and suspect you're doing useless things. It's a way of keeping an eye on you while touting they're forward-thinking!
 
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