Best Buy in BW Magazine

This weeks BusinessWeek magazine has a cover story on Best Buy’s new “open” workplace strategy. No meetings, no hours, no offices. Sounds slicker-than-snot. I’m sure some of the article is manufactured by the Best Buy PR people. There wasn’t much down-side discussed in the article. They have quantified the (huge) increase in productivity - which is a black art.

Any comments from designers in the Best Buy real world?

I work for a consultancy that works with a few of the Best Buy brands…they have meetings and offices and such just like everyone else.

There has been a growing movement in the US to get rid of some of the meaningless traditions surrounding office work. Things like flexible hours, availability of lengthy sabbatcles and summer schedules. Studies have shown though, even at the most progressive companies that almost no one takes part in the benefits (something like <2% even look into it).

Some people may say that the companies aren’t progressive and bosses force people into working. However, I feel it is that people enjoy, or at least have some need to work. Since the best parts of work are social, it means you work 9-5 when everyone else is there.

“Since the best parts of work are social”

Ugh, that comment made me shudder.

maybe the feeling most americans have, is taking a advantage of those benefits puts them at a disadvantage. there have been many studies saying that americans spend much of their time away from work, thinking about work. i do not know that it is because the social aspects of work or that is so enjoyable is keeps people from taking those benefits…

Once you cross that boundary into no defined times and coming + going as you please, then you risk having to always be available 24/7. Not sure too many people want to do that unless it’s their own company.