PMG Digital Made for Humans

Working In An Open Office

4 MINUTE READ | March 19, 2015

Working In An Open Office

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Mariana Andersen Diaz

Mariana Andersen Diaz has written this article. More details coming soon.

When I first started my job at PMG, I was pretty pumped about the idea of not having to work in a cubicle. Prior to working in an office, college-aged me was nervous about working in any office environment to begin with. The idea of not being confined to a small desk, with walls closed in around me, somehow made me feel better about what I was about to get myself into.

However, through my last 3 years here, I’ve discovered that open offices can be both good and bad. They can contribute to energy as well as frustration, to excitement along with tension, and well…to lots of different feelings. Without further ado here is my list of pros and cons of working in an open office space.

Let’s start with the bad…


1. The Noise

It happens in the morning, it happens during the late afternoon caffeine boost and it happens when that clock hits 6 pm. Sometimes it’s a slow rumble of chatter that builds to cacophony and sometimes it’s a loud BANG of laughs (or screams) that seemingly appear out of nowhere. It’s distracting, it’s frustrating and it’s the reason why noise-canceling headphones are amazing. It’s also the reason why it’s nice to seek solace in empty conference rooms from time to time.

2. Privacy

This one speaks for itself. Computer-snoopers are a real thing. They’re not always an intentional thing, but they’re real.

3. Awkward moments

Eyes tend to wander and sometimes eyes happen to land on you at the most unflattering of times.

Here’s a list of various faces I’ve been making when I’ve noticed someone watching me:

  • Intense “Get-Down-To-Business” Scrunch Face

  • #OverThis Face

  • Yay! “Check out that ROI” Face! (AKA The Fist Pump, The High-Five To Yourself, The Jumping Up And Down In Your Chair)

  • The “What-The-Hell-Happened-Here?!” Face

  • The “Laughing-Hysterically-At-Your-Podcast” Face (I’m looking at you, Stephanie Acosta)


1. Creative Energy

Perhaps the best thing about working in an open office is the sense of collaboration. There’s a creative energy to being able to see and speak with those around you without having to peek over walls (having to look around big monitors doesn’t count here.) You have people to bounce ideas off of while receiving immediate feedback through words or body language. Plus, if someone from another team is talking a liiiittle too loudly about some badass strategies that have been successful for their clients, you can totally steal borrow their ideas.

2. Ohhh Jokes

When you work in an office that is not only open, but also small, you tend to hear conversations coming from all corners of the room. While this can be a negative aspect of working in an open office (see above: Noise & Privacy), it does result in overhearing some pretty hilarious random comments. Examples include:

  • Cringeworthy conversations about bad dates

  • Random search terms that show up in SQRs (why exactly did Pope Francis match to “kids sweaters”?!)

  • Quoting Kanye West lyrics, Quoting Nicki Minaj lyrics, Quoting Carly Rae Jepson lyrics.

  • Things too inappropriate for blog posts

3. It’s All About That PMG Family 

Yes, I’m gonna end this on a sappy note. The open office layout makes it nearly impossible to avoid your coworkers, which is a good thing! I’m constantly amazed at how smart, interesting and funny everyone is here. I’m not the first PMG employee to say this, but the people here are the reason why “it” works.

If my coworkers were impossible to stand, then maybe I would prefer a cubicle. But at this point I’m willing to put up with the noise, lack of privacy and the oh-so-awkward moments.

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