Company ditches cubicles for a wall-free culture. Would you?

Irdeto, a content management and security company, eschewed individual desks—and desktop debris—for an open environment where people actually (egad!) talk to one another.

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When content management and security firm Irdeto’s Ottawa office moved from a standard cubicle farm to a space with no desks, only long tables where employees can set up laptops, 33 private focus rooms, and 15 meeting rooms, employees tended to have the same question: “Where do I put my stuff?”

What the employees have come to discover over the past few months, says senior marketing communications manager Lisa Spencer, is that they never needed it. What they did need, however, was a more open setting to share information.

“Our global culture is so small, and it’s about the immediate exchange of ideas,” says Spencer. “That’s—kind of on a micro level—what we’re doing here. We’re mimicking what’s going on in the world.”

As Senior Vice President Martin Sendyk put it to the Ottawa Citizen: “If you’re a coal miner, you work in a coal mine. If you’re a pilot, you work in a plane. If you’re a knowledge worker, you share knowledge.”

Eliminating desks

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