Recently Mike Bloomberg tweeted about using open office space to run the presidency if he was to be elected.
So there has been a lot of discussions lately about how terrible open office plans are however we need to keep in mind the following.
We each have our ways and when somebody's way isn't ours take a moment to ask how and why that could work for them. In the current work that I do of programming and with the current co-workers and culture that we have this wouldn't work for us well. I've been a believer for a very long time that open office plans kill productivity and creativity. The book Joy INC has destroyed that notion for me. This quick interview with Richard Sheridan is a great taste of what the book offers:
I'm not advocating for open workspaces per se and I don't think Rich is. What he is saying is that there is a better way to do things. But it all starts with self-introspection.
There is no correct/right/only way to work but there is the way that you work for you. Chances are once you've done the self-introspection you may decide and find the way that you want to work. When you do that you are now empowered to change the circumstances you work in.
What changes have I made? I've started experimenting as I can at work with doing more pair programming. Starting small and experiencing small quick failures to find what works the best.