MONEY DOWN THE LOO IT’S CLEAR THAT American executives haven’t quite woken up to the new reality on Wall Street. First, there was the big three motor manufacturer CEOs who flew into Washington in their private jets to ask for handouts. A fortnight ago it was the turn of once proud investment bank Merrill Lynch CEO – John Thain – to misread the mood.
Thain decided to hand out billions in bonuses to his fellow bankers and treat himself to a US$1m plus office refurb, including a wastepaper basket costing more than US$1 000 and a $35 000 commode. Thain was fired, but his multi-million dollar payout should now mean he can afford to buy that fancy toilet himself. LIFE IN A CUBE FARM ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SICK AUSTRALIAN SCIENTISTS have reviewed a global pool of research into the effect of modern office design, concluding that the switch to open-plan has led to lower pro- ductivity and higher worker stress. “The evidence we found was absolutely shocking,” researcher Dr Vinesh Oommen, of the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said.
“In 90% of the research the outcome of working in an open-plan office was seen as negative, with open-plan offices causing high levels of stress, conflict, high blood pressure and a high staff turnover. The high level of noise causes employees to lose concentration, leading to low productivity.
(Let’s just hope Australians don’t conduct research like they play cricket.)