Looking back on the changes in office design over the past 30 years, it is easy to see why some employees feel as if they have been subjects in a giant ongoing experiment. For decades the office has moved from private, to open plan and more recently, no desk at all. These changes have been driven almost simultaneously by the push to reduce real estate cost and to also increase collaboration among employees. While savings in real estate costs appear to have been achieved, the negative effects of the open plan office on employees have now been well documented. A large body of research shows these offices are noiser; employees have difficulties concentrating and are unable to hold private conversations.
Tagged With open office
Windows/Mac/Linux (all platforms): OpenOffice.org, the free office application suite, has released a beta of its 3.0 version to the public with a few key features rolled in. The biggest update is native support for Mac OS X platforms, meaning no need to install X11 packages on older Macs or switch to NeoOffice for a smoother experience (although NeoOffice plans to release a 3.0 of its own, so stay tuned). OpenOffice also adds built-in conversion filters for Office 2007/Mac Office 2008 files, a new "solver" function for spreadsheets, enhanced notes and viewing options in Writer, and other enticements for those willing to risk a few bugs. OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta is a free download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems. OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta
Windows/Mac/Linux: With pictures, videos, and high-resolution fonts, slideshows can make up some pretty big files—fine if you've got a large enough thumb drive or CD-R, but what if you have to email? Sun Presentation Manager, a free extension for OpenOffice, shrinks down files by compressing graphics, deleting hidden slides, and creating static versions of linked objects. It works similar to the PowerPoint-based PPTminimizer, but without the fee and exclusive Office platform—you can use the extension on either OpenOffice files or imported PowerPoint projects. Sun Presentation Manager is a free download, and requires OpenOffice 2.3 or StarOffice 8 or later. Sun Presentation Minimizer
Windows only: Add transparency to your Windows taskbar and give yourself slightly more usable desktop real estate with freeware application TransBar. While the latter claim (more desktop space) may seem like nonsense, it's especially true for two-row taskbar folks like myself who don't like auto-hiding the taskbar. Whether you want a touch more desktop space or you just want to keep in step with your favourite Windows desktops, TransBar is a simple, lightweight utility that can do both. TransBar is freeware, Windows only.