My Kingdom For A Door

As the open office proliferates, some workers find it hard to adjust. There's a new growth industry in what to do about it

Call her Mary the Oppressed. A senior sales director at a small business-to-business dotcom in New York City, she has been living in open-space hell. Arrived recently from a publishing firm, she is nearly 40 years old and had had her own office for 15 years. Now she found herself among 30 people, grouped according to job function, sitting at long tables arranged to form a rectangle in a 5,000-sq.-ft. room with a concrete floor and bare windows.

After a "hideous" six months, Mary says, "I just couldn't stand it. My ability to focus went down so by Friday, I couldn't...

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