Stephen Freeman Rotating Header Image

February 9th, 2004:

Don't buy bean bags

Some managemers seem to think that using bean bags in your office space will make their people more creative and inventive. I just heard a great story, at one level of indirection, from one of the original Smalltalk crew at Xerox PARC — the archetypal bean bag institution.

It seems that they introduced bean bags because the people there were so argumentative that the only way anyone could get their point across was if they made it just too much trouble for the others to leap up and interrupt. They introduced bean bags to _inhibit_ discussion, not facilitate it.

It’s such a good story, I hope it’s true.
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