Anil, enoyed the read and it brought back some memories. I’m curious what ever happened to the concept of the ‘Pod’? If that’s what it was called. By that I mean a roughly hexagon shaped area with 5 smallish offices (no doors but beads seemed de rigueur) large enough for two or three individuals. These offices (or sub-pods) surrounded a common area in the center with couches, bean bags, chairs for meeting/lounging/etc.
The last time I saw these in use was at educational games maker Knowledge Adventure from BITD — say mid to late 90's. I never worked in one of the pods (consulted in another area of the co) but found the layout fascinating and extremely cozy and mixed privacy with shared space quite well.
In this case the sub-pods and larger pod were all highly personalized and essentially small villages, if you will.
I’m curious if that idea is still around anywhere these days.
At my former company Mirth, once we got large enough to even consider such ideas, we went with a largely open layout with desks that had wheels and which somewhat self organized into groups within the open spaces. The open areas of course were surrounded at the edges by offices (of course) thereby establishing the separate-but-equal setups that seem inevitable.
I’d say that layout had mixed results. Given the opportunity in the future I think I’d resist repeating that layout.