retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Wall Street Journal has a story about the newest “prized amenity” in modern, tech-oriented, open-plan offices.

Phone booths.

According to the story, “Once upon a time, the open office was the answer to a Dilbertian nightmare of endless gray cubicles, which itself was a response to an increasing lack of order found in open-floor plans.

“Now, the booths are a trendy mea culpa from employers who learned over the past decade that doing away with partitions - part desire to be hip, part cost-saving measure - left workers with no outlet for peace or quiet.

“In 2015, a single booth maker participated in the NeoCon show in Chicago for the commercial-design industry. This year, there were more than a dozen.”

That’s not to say that it is a perfect solution. The booths are not as private as some would like them to be, and sometimes the competition for the space can be cutthroat. But it is a good reminder that progress comes in fits and starts, and that there are parts of the way things used to be in which value can be found.

It can be an Eye-Opener.
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