Plantronics' new office discourages employees from coming to work

Credit: flickr/Ryan Q

Plantronics, maker of headsets, just opened a new office that has room for only about two-thirds of their employees. The rest are not laid off, just encouraged to work from home.

The thrill of picking out your new cubicle has given way to the realization cubicles are treated like hotel rooms: use it for a day or two, but it's not yours. Those who come into the office will see video screens almost everywhere, all primed for video calls to employees at home. Add in video chat rooms and some project rooms and spaces for private meetings, and you have what Plantronics feels is the modern corporate office. "We wanted to to be more open to smarter working, anywhere anytime," Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Plantronics is quoted saying in this article.

Plantronics has a contract with coworking space NextSpace in San Jose for employees not willing or able to work at home or in typical mobile worker spots like coffee shops with free Wi-Fi. Employees are free to work at home as often as they wish, but most will likely come to the office two or three times per week. Employees can even have virtual lunch with their friends, since there are video screens in the cafeteria.

What a great idea

if more businesses did this, there would be fewer cars on the road (saving energy, time, reducing stress), and more productivity.

EditorDave on

I'm regularly sick of the overhead fluorescent lighting, blame-shifting meetings where nothing happens, awkward "what did you do last weekend" talks at the coffee machine, phone calls about nothing, and sitting in a room full of cackling people being unable to think.

wladimir on

Working from home has been great for my health. I am able to work more, exercise more AND spend more time with my family.

Shannon Glasscock on

My company has had this setup for the past 12 years. We have a small office with desks and conference rooms anyone can grab if they are free. It works well. I work from home 99.9% of the time, but sometimes it's nice to go into the office for a change of scenery or when the cable goes out.

nsxwolf on

Other reasons

I think you missed the idea. Employees want to work from home because of the commute, not the office.

andy on

We are always evolving and I agree that a fixed time schedule may not work for many jobs. It is common for people to have flexible working hours depending on their areas of expertise.

Dental Tourism on

On the other hand

I can also squeeze in a billable 12 hours in 8 hours without breaking a sweat, I work less, make more and have more flexibility.

Tim Coleman on

I do more work from home. When I go into the office it's just to talk to hot coworkers.

Ererw on

Telecommuting definitely has benefits in the right situations, but if your work requires groups of people to collaborate closely and quickly, telecommuting can have a very adverse effect on your performance.

tobtoh on

Too bad working from home can't help you avoid time-wasting meetings, but the teleconference industry ruined that plan.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon