Apple employees apparently hate their new open-plan office campus


Some project leaders are actually refusing to relocate to the new campus lest it ruin team productivity.

For the past year, I've repeatedly pointed out that, according to numerous scientific studies, employees hate open offices because they're noisy, visually distracting, and force people to socialize, regardless of what they're trying to accomplish.

Furthermore, there's no evidence whatsoever that open plan offices (and "collaboration" they're suppose to foster) increase productivity. Quite the contrary, most people get far less done when they're crammed into the environmental equivalent of a hotel lobby.

Every time I point out these scientific facts, somebody attempts a riposte along the lines of "[very successful company] has open plan offices, so you, Geoffrey, are totally full of it."

Such commenters might be surprised to learn that the most successful company in the world, Apple, just spent $5 billion and 6 years building a centralized campus built around the open plan office concept. And, guess what?

Apple employees hate it.

According to an article that appeared earlier this week on bizjournals.com,

"high-level Apple staffers are unsatisfied with the company's open floor plan -- which has many company engineers working at long tables with co-workers, instead of in cubicles or offices [and] some employees have reportedly insisted on their own space outside of the main spaceship-style building."

According to Bloomberg, the work environment at the new headquarters is so disliked that, the company's Internet software team is refusing to move from the company's old headquarters, because

"the new campus will include bench seating, long work tables, and open cubicle spaces, potentially irking employees used to quiet office environments."

Gee, ya think?

Apple, of course, is justifying the open plan on the grounds that it increase "collaboration," a wildly-popular management fad that's consistently proven to decrease productivity.

As is always the case in these ridiculous open plan office schemes, the company's top management will have private offices, thereby proving (in a "who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes" way) that Tim Cook and his management team are hypocrites.

Sad.

Note: I reached out to Apple PR to comment on these reports of dissatisfaction but have not heard back. If I get a response, I will update this column.

RELATED: Apple's $5 billion 'spaceship' in Cupertino

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Apple's $5 billion 'spaceship' in Cupertino
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Apple's $5 billion 'spaceship' in Cupertino

This is Apple Campus 2 from a distance.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

Here's a look a little bit closer.

YouTube/Duncan Sinfield

The building looks almost completed! Only a few finishing touches needed.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

Here's a peek inside, thanks to leaked photos from Apple.

Apple/MacG.co

But the landscaping still has a long way to go. There are still puddles of standing water around the campus.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

Another one, this time in the middle of the ring.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

More mud.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

Good thing that the project has until Q2 to finish landscaping. Here's the latest project schedule.

Cupertino
 

The auditorium is nearly finished. This is likely where Apple plans to launch the next iPhone or another upcoming product.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

The parking lots are done too. Construction workers are parking in them now.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

Here's a closer look. Those are solar panels on top.

YouTube/Duncan Sinfield

Vast fields of solar panels on top of a parking structure — smart and environmentally friendly.

YouTube/Duncan Sinfield

Apple's R&D facilities are done too, and paving parking lots has started.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

Some landscaping has started. Apple has planted these trees, for example, and started to build a path.

YouTube/Matthew Roberts

But Apple plants trees differently than most people.

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Here's what it should look like when it's done, according to an artist's rendering.

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