What you don’t hear so much in the breathless descriptions of 21st century workspaces: the grumbling from employees who can’t focus on their jobs because of all the distractions. Or the stories of workers who retreat to home offices to escape all the creativity and fun—so they can get some work done.
That’s what happened to Carolyn Smuts, a self-described “uptight, stick-in-the-mud” marketing director for NEAD App Development. In 2010 the tech company moved into a Huntington Beach (Calif.) warehouse decorated with life-size Darth Vader cut-outs and outfitted with a basketball court and wall-to-wall whiteboards. A surfboard manufacturer was next door.
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