Google’s answer to the problems of open plan offices? Inflatable walls
Google is redesigning its offices for the post-pandemic world, and The New York Times has a big report full of pictures and videos outlining the company’s plans. But if I had to sum up the tech giant’s approach in two words I would choose “over” and “engineered.” Google has ambitious plans to shake up its offices, but some of them seem needlessly complicated.
As the Times notes, the standard for Silicon Valley offices has long been open plan, with designers and developers working by cheek by jowl in the name of “spontaneous collaboration.” (Though this is often a pretext to cut costs by cramming as many workers into pricey real estate as possible.) But, in a cautious COVID-conscious culture neither cramming nor cubicles can cut it:…