In an office-wide email obtained by the Awl, Wired editor Scott Dadich warns his colleagues not to sully the $3 million redesign of the magazine's South Beach office by mistaking the various carefully selected horizontal surfaces for places to rest things. Things like books, tchotchkes, sales mailers from publicists, which should, by the end of the day, "make their way off of horizontal surfaces and into the appropriate recycling or refuse containers." Dadich does not mean to go as far as Martha Stewart—who, he says, once limited her Omnimedia staffers to but three types of approved writing instruments—adding, "I encourage you to proudly display a few small items at your desk because our workspace reflects who we are." Unless you are the type of person who wants to rest your phone on your elevated laptop stand, which is for laptops only!
I need a few minutes of your attention to talk about how we treat the workspace we'll fully occupy on Jan. 5. We made a big investment in the construction and design of the new floor—more than $3 million over 10 years—to create a home worthy of our ambitions and a place that's fun to come to in the morning. There are zones to work together, and quiet spots for focused work. There are drawers for personal items, and tons of storage for our materials and technologies. I believe the new 3rd floor will give us every opportunity to do what we do best, which is create content that's a source of surprise and delight to more than 45 million community members.
Unfortunately, too often the place where we do that important work looks, at best, like a dorm room.It's an embarrassment: coffee stains on walls (and countertops and desks), overflowing compost bins, abandoned drafts of stories and layouts (full of highly confidential content), day-old, half-eaten food, and, yes, I'm going to say it, action figures. Please. WIRED is no longer a pirate ship. It's the home of world-changing journalism. It's the West Coast home of Condé Nast. And it's increasingly a place where we, and our New York colleagues and owners, host artists, founders, CEOs, and advertisers.
We all treasure our photos of loved ones. Mementos of personal accomplishment. I encourage you to proudly display a few small items at your desk because our workspace reflects who we are. It reflects our values. But how we treat our workplace is a manifestation of how seriously we take our work. When we stop caring for our shared spaces, we demonstrate a lack of respect for the space and for each other. When you leave stains on countertops, it's disgusting for your colleagues and embarrassing for visitors.
When we take occupancy of the full floor, we'll walk through the specifics. I think you'll be delighted to see that we've engineered spaces that are designed to get messy, entire rooms for the implements of creative inspiration and expression. The common newsroom and community spaces are not those places.
We're going to see a significant uptick in office visitors next year. Please make every effort to protect the sensitive information you are working on. Do not leave content of any sort on your desk at the end of the day. We have flat files, vertical files, and locking cabinets spread across the entire floor. Please use them. Secure your work.
Every day, publicists send us all a lot of promotional, er, uh … crap: books, tchotchkes, sales mailers. If there are DVDs or books you need to do your job, please do make use of them. But make sure the items you don't need make their way off of horizontal surfaces and into the appropriate recycling or refuse containers at the end of the day, or simply take them home. I love your custom-made/vintage/neon sign/one-of-a-kind lighting appliance. But it's not right for the design of this new space. Please use the brand-new desk lamp we just purchased for you. And yes, we know there are areas that could use better overhead illumination. Our architects are working on it, I promise.
We went to great expense to purchase elevated laptop stands and monitor arms for all desks. Please do customize the setup to optimize your workspace. I want you to be comfortable and productive—we work long hours—but know that the elevated platform is for your laptop, not your phone.
Clean your dishes, and please remove the food from your dishes from the sink. Among many things, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner is infamous for walking through the office handing out demerits and tongue lashings to people with messy desks strewn with half-eaten food, towers of music, and stacks of assorted crap. Martha Stewart once issued edicts about the three types of approved writing instruments allowed at the Omnimedia studios. I'm not going to do any of that—although my OCD can sometimes get the best of me—because I'm confident you'll understand exactly what I'm saying here and clean it up, not just for me but for all of us.
· Re: New WIRED Offices [The Awl]