Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

If your workplace has a roomier, more desolate feeling of late, it’s not your imagination:

As the economy continues its long snooze, “office space is not as densely packed as it used to be,” [reports the International Facility Management Association]. Vacancy rates have risen by about 5% in almost every industry. (The only exception: The federal government.) Companies now average 295 square feet of usable space per employee. Yet most office workers are assigned between 75 and 95 square feet. Middle managers get, on average, 120 square feet.

What’s taking up the rest of the space? Collaborative work areas and amenities like day care centers and gyms account for much of it, while layoffs and stagnant hiring, the study’s authors add, have turned many offices into “ghost towns, with empty cubicles becoming increasingly common.”

Somewhat mirrors foreclosure-depleted neighborhoods, where neglected empty houses lend an eerie atmosphere. In the office, the lack of a desk-neighbor probably imparts a feeling of isolation, balanced by a desirable state of privacy. Among the considerations:

- Do you log in enough facetime, versus almost-exclusive email/voicemail contact?
- Is it worth being in the office physically, instead of telecommuting, if coworkers are so thin on the ground anyway?

A bit of a social adjustment, until companies decide to start hiring again.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/20/2010 11:50pm
Category: Business, Society
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in the bag
Whether imposed for conditioning purposes or (more usually) for punishment, hockey players dread the “bag skate”:

noun a team practice made of repetitive, strenuous skating drills and sprints, usually without pucks. Also as a verb.

Of course, there’s repetitive, and then there’s the diabolically repetitive:

There’s a million different ways to shape a bag skate — there’s the classic “suicides,” which nearly everyone has done in some form for every sport. In hockey, it’s skating to the blue line and back, then the center line and back, and so on. Good ‘ol [juniors coach Mike] Vandekamp used to put the “Peter Zezel” twist on that with regularity — once you get to the “far glass and back” portion of doing lines, you start going around the net to the blue line before coming back around to the starting point again. It becomes a horror movie: The Skate That Wouldn’t Die.

The “bag” portion of the description undoubtedly comes from “bagging” the practice pucks, or taking them all off the ice, so that the entire drill becomes nothing but skate, skate, skate. By the end of the strenuous drills, your legs are about ready to be bagged up and stored away for a long while too.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/20/2010 10:33pm
Category: Hockey, Wordsmithing
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