According to the New York Times, Seattle is on the vanguard of a movement to make work environments more like libraries, where you're more apt to find a powerful executive tapping away on her laptop in a common area than behind a heavy wooden door, with a killer water view unshared by her charges. Such a bent toward democracy--spearheaded by the likes of the Gates Foundation, Frank Russell and NBBJ Architects--is balderdash; here are five reasons why the tradition of cordoned-off executive digs should roll on:
1. Sex. Without the closed-door office, where is the executive going to blow off steam by discreetly nailing one of her co-workers? This sort of indiscretion can only be safely practiced behind a thick, locked door with the blinds drawn. Also, have you ever tried browsing Internet porn behind the "wall" of a cubicle? A more democratic workplace is a less sexy workspace. And less sexy isn't good for productivity.
2. Drugs. Coffee might be for closers, but when a chief executive really needs to get fired up for a hostile takeover or motivational speech, she needs the freedom to break out the driver: cocaine. And without the privacy of a plush office, powering down a rail in a power suit is virtually impossible.
3. Booze. Nothing limbers up a crucial chat with an employee or prospective client like a couple relaxing tumblers of Scotch enjoyed on a leather couch with a zillion-dollar view. Can this be accomplished in a cubicle? Absolutely not.
4. Sleeping. In a 24/7 economy, power naps are necessary for the executive who hopes to maintain power. And in order for the executive to maximize her REM, the ability to slip out of a pencil skirt and into silk pajamas is a must.
5. Shouting. Diplomacy, shmiplomacy: Some business situations call for shouting "I will fucking destroy you!" multiple times at the top of your lungs. This is where a soundproofed door really comes in handy, and a Bloombergian "cluster" doesn't.