Hey you're in my workspace
January 23, 2013 4:13 PM Subscribe
Advice sought on solving a workplace dispute between several departments
posted by sock, the puppet to Work & Money (6 answers total)
I work for the "Acme" company. Acme has 3 websites, all of which work out of the same building. I work as web developer for website A, which also has a separate marketing and editorial departments, also housed in the building. Publication B and C also have separate marketing departments, but as you can imagine, there's a lot of crossover in work.
About a year ago, the developers of website A were forced to move into an open area with the developers from website B and C. We protested that, saying it was an extreme distraction to go from our own private office to an open area with other developers and sales people from the other two websites, but not our own. Our protests were ignored and we were politely told that upper management wanted things this way and that they were sure we'd adjust in time.
Fast forward a year.
The editorial department of publication A chooses to move from a closed door office in the back of the building, to an open room near the front, a room that has also a door that leads to the parking lot outside. Previously that room was empty for years and people used the door to quickly exist and enter the building. There is a main front entrance, but it's another 50 feet away from this side door and involves navigating a bit of an office maze.
Now that the editorial department from website A has moved into said room, they're demanding that everyone in the building stop using the door to exit or enter the building. The room is long, say about 100 feet. Their desks are 30-40 feet from the door from the door. People enter the room through a small hallway that's 20 feet from the door, so it's not as through we're walking directly through their office, just about 10-20 feet from their desks for a fews seconds a day. There are about 7-8 people that use said door, most are developers who only use it to come in during the morning, maybe go to lunch and then leave in the evening.
Everyone has ignored their demands for the 3 weeks they've been in the office, because hey we're a generally small staff and it's easier to reach your car through that side door.
Yesterday, a senior manager in the building sent out an email reminding everyone to use the main front door, in order to avoid interrupting and distracting the editorial department of website A.
A lot of people are angry about this, particularly the developers I work with, who were forced to move to an open office and have to regularly deal with distractions as we code. Yet this other department seems to be getting its way and being heard, when other departments in the building aren't. It's seems very unfair, irrational and a prima donna move, as the rest of us have to deal with distractions in an open office.
Tomorrow in our bi-monthly staff meeting. The issue is going to come. What's the most productive way of bringing up the unfair situation to senior management and/or addressing the issue in the bi-monthly staff meeting, which everyone in the building attends?
People are incensed at this unfair treatment and the rationale that they and seemingly they alone need to avoid distractions. Yet they'll regularly come and distract us developers to fix html or other code they've screwed up when posting to the website. Ideally the rest of us would like to keep using the side door as we see fit. What's the best way to go about that?