Open Plan Offices

It this age of open plan offices there are several things you cannot avoid.  I wrote a post previously regarding the do’s and don’ts when working in this kind of environment.  Today’s post is more about the other aspects of working in the same space along with 80 other people.  Firstly, it is important to note that your immune system is going to take a beating.  The way germs move through an open plan office can only be compared to that of a wild fire in California during a dry summer.  Once the first person comes down with symptoms you can see how it then rolls through the office taking your colleagues out one row of desks at a time.  The sound of sneezing, wheezing and coughing tells you that it is now only a matter of time before you too will succumb to the bug that grips the office.  It does not matter that you just got over the last round of crud that hit…oh no you will once again be caught up in the tidal wave of this latest viral or bacterial attacker.  The open plan office is really a large petri dish!  It is the closest thing to a nursery school for passing nasty stuff back and forth.

Secondly, the other things you cannot avoid are cakes, sweets, chocolates and other culinary delights that your office mates bring in.  In a large team it is always someone’s birthday or some other occasion that is traditionally marked by bringing food to the office. If you are trying to watch your weight this is especially difficult.  Here you are preparing to eat your salad but in order to get your extra light dressing you must enter the Room of Temptation!  The fridge shares space in this room full of tempting treats.  How are you supposed to ignore and even have to move these items to get to your healthy option dressing?  You feel you should partake and share the happy occasion by eating one of the sweet offerings.  If you can resist this temptation and forge ahead to the fridge, get your extra low fat dressing and turn a blind eye to the selection of goodies, you are truly a hero!

To summarize; Working in an open plan office is dangerous to your immune system and your weight. I think those of us who work in this kind of environment should get hazard pay or at least extra sick days as well as hazardous duty pay!