Steven M. Johnson solves the Amazon office bathroom problem

office bathrooms
© Steven M. Johnson

Amazon has been a hot topic since the New York Times did a big exposé of life in the office, where people break down and cry at their desks from the pressure. In MNN I wrote a post looking at the history of management from Frederick Winslow Taylor and his stopwatch, comparing Taylorism to Bezoism, suggesting that they were not that different.

Stephen M. Johnson has been thinking about the problem for decades, and came up with this idea a while back: a sort of studio cubicle with a sleeping area and private bathroom. He writes on Facebook:

Here's yet another approach to the subject of getting a "full-time" job. I feel the term "full-time," in a worst-case scenario, might some day mean you never leave work, ever. If–my reasoning goes–employers feel they can hire a new person from a pool of several hundred unemployed applicants should you fail to show proper work speed, eagerness, and willingness to work at reduced wages with no medical benefits, then an employee might feel the need to never leave the office. Ergo, an employee would need a studio cubicle.

Johnson notes that "Obviously, giving each employee his/her private bathroom is ridiculous. That is my specialty: ridiculous ideas." But I don't think it is ridiculous at all; neither would this former Amazonian who writes in Motherboard about the bathroom culture at Amazon, where "the men’s room is an extension of the office. People chitchat about work in the bathroom, as if it is just another meeting room."

The author describes going all over the building to find a bathroom with a little privacy. This could have solved the problem, as well as Seattle's high cost of housing.

Steven M. Johnson solves the Amazon office bathroom problem
And the Seattle housing shortage problem at the same time.

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