Saturday, February 20, 2021

"Weeping paths" and other secrets of the office

From an essay by Paul Ford for Wired:

I think of those as “weeping paths,” part of the secret map of every office. You cannot sob at your desk, so you must go on a journey, smiling at the floor, until you find a place where emotion can flow. Offices have their own mental maps.


If you don’t believe me, try making a map of your office. See what you remember. Where do people go when they are rewarded, punished? Where is power concentrated, and where do you sit? What paths do people take to accomplish their goals? Are some emotions possible in one space and not another? (Take a picture and send it to me. I want to see.)


an office is basically a big clock with humans for hands


Now make a map of your “digital office.” It will be a bunch of squares and a screenshot of a web browser. I like working at home. It’s efficient and I’m glad for the time I get back. But digital work has a lousy clock. Hours blur.