I have started doing my O3's. However, I have a small problem. I work in a bullpen setting, many desks, no dividers. Even when we talk in a low tone others can hear. I know that MT has suggested that we should do them at our desk. Does anyone else have this issue? How do you deal with it?

hyubdoo23's picture

Find an empty conference room.

jhack's picture

You can go to the cafeteria, or Starbucks. You can take a walk around town.


rwwh's picture
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I do them at the desk anyway. In a similar setting. It takes a little time to get used to, but everyone "forgets" that an O3 is taking place. If privacy is needed, we take a walk.

RobRedmond's picture

In my cube or in the cafeteria if we need privacy. Every now and then in a booth at a restaurant.

shaneramey's picture

We meet in the server room. It's cold, but it's always there for us.

gpsmith's picture

We work in low walled cubes and I sit with three of my team in a four-way cube. Therefore we always go off to the breakout area or coffee shop. It's not private, but it's not somewhere people can so readily overhear.

carguin's picture

I've found the cafeteria to work well. It is almost always available ( schedule around lunch hours obviously ), allows for multiple private conversations, and doesn't have the stigma a more private space might have.


Chris Arguin

Jirrin's picture

I share my cube with my manager, so I take the O3s to a table and chairs in the lobby of the conference room area.  Private, but not too private.

RickMeasham's picture

Bottom Line: Do them where it works. Don't avoid them, or reduce their benefit just because you don't have the geography.

I know all this talk about doing them at your desk even when the setup is bad, but there's 5 directs with me in a small room. We each have 4ft of desk space and no dividers. Any discussion in there becomes an open discussion simply because the place is tiny.

I'm in Melbourne (Australia) and we have a very strong "Cafe Culture" here. As our entire office is full-to-bursting, almost every meeting is held in one of the four great cafes less than 1 minute's walk from our door. The only meetings that aren't are the sort that need a whiteboard or projector. And the great coffee available reduces the need for those quite considerably :-D

I think a lot of M&M's advice is primarily aimed at companies with 500+ employees. There's cubicle farms where everyone has their space, or at least a bull-pen with nice dividers. As a manager, chances are you have your own office, and certainly have your own cubicle or semi-segregated deskspace.

That's not the world I live in. And it sounds like it isn't the world you live in.

Do them where it works. Don't avoid them, or reduce their benefit just because you don't have the geography.