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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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7. The Furniture Police

Suppose that in addition to your present duties, you were made responsible for space and services for your people. You would have to decide on the kind of workplace for each person, and the amount of space and expense to be allocated. How would you go about it? You’d probably want to study the ways in which people use their space, the amount of table space required, and the number of hours in a day spent working alone, working with one other person, and so forth. You’d also investigate the impact of noise on people’s effectiveness. After all, your folks are intellect workers—they need to have their brains in gear to do their work, and noise does affect their ability to concentrate.

For each of the observed kinds of disturbance, ...

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