Blinkered to new ideas
There has been much mocking online of Panasonic’s Wear Space
, a prototype device designed to help people concentrate in open-plan offices.
The mocking is understandable to an extent – Wear Space certainly looks ridiculous. The device slots around your head, narrowing your vision to what’s directly in front of you, and cancelling out nearby noise.
“Why not just build closed offices?!,” people ask. “I knew open offices were a bad idea!” And yes, there is something vaguely dystopian about obscuring most of your face from your coworkers, but it’s not really that different from wearing headphones.
Open-plan offices are an unavoidable part of modern life for many people. If this is someone’s ‘life hack’ for dealing with it – pah – who cares?
Apple AirPods looked ridiculous a couple of years ago. I know – I got the weird stares when I wore them on the day they went on sale, and I got those stares most days for months afterwards, too. But now they’re perfectly acceptable and widely worn; the funny looks are dying off.
So don’t laugh at someone’s method of dealing with a working environment that’s beyond their control. One day soon they might seem a good idea to you, too.