Is Bigger Better? Office Politics and Working Real Estate Space

“What are you doing in Frank’s office,” I ask Bob who is staring at the overhead light fixture. Startled, he quickly looks down. I continue to tease him, “What is this? A meditation room? What are you doing?”

Bob mumbles, “Counting.”

“Counting what?” I ask.

Bob takes a second, takes a breath and confesses, “ceiling tiles.”

It takes me almost a minute, then I realize what Bob is doing: he’s measuring the size of his office against Frank’s. Bob’s anger replaced his embarrassment. He realizes he has a smaller office. They were equal on the org chart and at the same pay grade, but not equal in square footage. It was important.

I was now to get more practice in the anger management of a staffer who felt slighted. It was my turn to mumble, “Oh no…I’m sorry…this was the best we could do in allotting the limited space to our dedicated people…we attempt to be fair, but sometimes things are not perfect…” It was the truth. But I knew exactly how Bob got his crappy office.

I assigned it to him.

Bob didn’t notice that Frank also had a breath-taking view of the city. Bob’s smaller window overlooked the parking lot. And I knew that, too …

For all my platitude-ing, Bob was one of those employees who would be forever aggrieved. I spoke of ‘dedicated people’ and Bob was not one of them. He was a subpar performer who delivered all that was asked—and nothing more. His evaluations were “satisfactory.” His office was satisfactory.

I did not have much margin in my budget. But there are always methods to acknowledge the superstars. I allocated the trappings of stature to those who exceeded expectations.

Bob Fryling who is the Publisher and Vice President of InterVarsity Press, writes in “The Leadership Ellipse“:

“Jealousy and ego also affect how we gauge our perceived importance in daily organizational life … Cabinet officers to President Richard M. Nixon used a tape measure to see whose office was bigger and whose office was closer to the Oval Office.

“How petty.

“However, how many of us have also done the same thing mentally (if not with a tape measure)? If someone is closer to organizational power than we are, we know it and feel it. The challenge is what do we do with that knowledge and those feelings? How do we face down the giant of ego and jealousy?”

Appearances count. The number of ceiling tiles is a clue on how much power an individual can exercise. The bigger the office, the greater the perceived power to influence and to lead — even across my modest organizational structure. Power gets things done.

These things matter. Except when they can’t and don’t.

Ancient Rome understood how size and looks mattered and how leaders employed a presence. The first Roman emperor, Augustus (27 BC to 14 A.D.) did not need the external appearances of power. Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-In Chief of Forbes Media, writes in “Power Ambition Glory,”

“Although there was no doubt that Augustus was the boss, he was careful to avoid the title and trappings of a monarch—which he realized went against the Roman grain and had cost Julius Caesar his life.

“Augustus wore neither a crown nor the robes of a king. A simple broad-brimmed woven straw hat that had shielded him from the harsh rays from the Mediterranean summer sun signaled to his subjects his simplicity and modesty.

“He projected the image of a reluctant “care-taker” of the empire, a leader motivated by a desire to serve and to uphold the principles of Republican government.”

However reluctant the small business owner might act to be as a caretaker of your empire, do not give up your seat of power in the corner office. You are no Caesar Augustus. And no Andy Grove.

Grove understood the egalitarian culture of Silicon Valley. He had an 8 x 9 foot cubicle when he was CEO of Intel, manufacturer of computer chips. We mere mortals cannot pull off this level of leadership without some cosmetic help.

It is true that good arguments can be made for open office space where everyone is “equal.”

But remember — the work office is a seat of power to get things done.

View Image via Shutterstock


Jack Yoest

Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.

45 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I think it cannot be prevented. Even if you give them equal space, they will still find something to complain about if he is the complaining type – he has to resolve the jealousy by himself. He has to see that it will not get him anywhere.

  2. Jack Yoest

    Aira, you are right — there seems to be an inverse proportion.

    It is interesting how the best people never complain — but management is most sensitive to their needs.

    Marginal performers are forever complaining and management is less concerned with their complaints.


  3. Madalaina D'Angelo

    It’s interesting to think that the bedroom-saying “size matters” can apply even to the workforce world, that a person’s power has to be personified in the physical instead of the work produced. My boss at the bar I work at shares an office with the two assistant managers and his secretary, yet when he walks into any part of the bar or complex he commands attention and respect and his authority as manager owner is projected– he doesn’t need a fancy suit or car or large office. But I can understand using offices or bonuses or heck, even a parking spot as incentives to better performance and moral, and how the bigger office can also be a showing of power and can be respected as such in certain workplaces or job industries.

  4. Catherine Warchot

    I think that in the business world, it is important to be a “team player.” That means not letting your ego get in the way of doing your best work not being jealous of your coworkers and their successes. Instead of sitting around and wasting time measuring office sizes, Bob should have been doing the best work he could do. And if he was so upset by the size of his office, he should see that as a source of motivation for him to do better work so that he could get a nice office too. He should have also realized that a nice office is not something that has a “right” to, it is a privilege that he must work towards.

  5. Ego and jealousy is unavoidable in many aspects of life. In the business world an employees ego could make or break him or her. A below average employee who has the ego of a CEO can really bring down office moral because of their attitude and self importance. A manager can only do so much to try and prevent any incidents of jealousy and ego much like the manager in the article tried to do with the offices. The only other thing the manager could have done with Bob was to tell him point blank that he did not deserve the office. Some employees are delusional and that delusion can not be reversed. The team aspect of business is often lost with ego and the role of a manager is often reduced to just trying to manage the egos of the office and that can be done by using modest actions, but also requiring those around them to respect their authority and use effective communication.

  6. The reality of business as is in life is that people’s ego play key roles in their work and life performance and demeanor. Today’s “trophy for everyone” society has fostered the desire of glorified titles and perks for the workplace, and the “mine is bigger than yours” concerns. Achievement does not create sufficient satisfaction for many workers unless a superficial reward is attached. For me, I do not need the titles, the big offices, or the up-close parking spots; however, I will quietly take an increase in pay!

  7. Leanne Robinson

    Jealousy and ego play a major role in everyone’s lives. Regardless of how selfless a person is, there will come a time in their life that they feel as if they have a chip on their shoulder. The reality of the business world today is that people need to toughen up. By learning to compartmentalize superficial rewards, a worker can reach his or her full potential and maybe eventually receive those perks. That being said, if Bob is a sufficient worker, he does not go out of his way to impress anyone, and after many attempts to break him out of his shell, a manager can realize that Bob will always only do what is asked of him, and nothing more. This is why Frank deserved the better office, if a worker goes out of his way as an employee not seeking entitlement, he is genuinely passionate about his job. This kind of employee is the one who deserves to “get the trophy”. Frank was a power player, and he deserved to be viewed that way. Respect starts at the bottom, maybe if Bob realized that earlier he would have had the corner office with the view. Great read!

  8. Joseph Lasaracino

    Professional ability is the strongest attribute one can demonstrate in an office. The way you present yourself should be titled with composure and confidence. When a leader, especially a manager faces a crises, it is in those moment when he or she exemplifies perseverance. In the case of the Hurricane Katrina incidence relating to business, it is fine to be emotional and passionate, but one must be able to rally and unify people to work towards a common goal. Image is a vital quality, and displaying that to your colleagues allows others to admire and approach their image in identical ways.

  9. Mary Margaret Sheridan

    I liked this article because it shows how perks like office space can influence employees. This quote, I feel, conveyed the message of the article well, “However, how many of us have also done the same thing mentally (if not with a tape measure)? If someone is closer to organizational power than we are, we know it and feel it. The challenge is what do we do with that knowledge and those feelings? How do we face down the giant of ego and jealousy?” What you do with those feelings of inadequacy define who you are as an employee. Do you get discouraged that someone might be excelling more than you, or do you use that to incite personal change to be better? Do you let it motivate you or deter you? You have to earn your spot at your company and earn your seat in your office.

  10. I think that this phenomenon is unavoidable. We are power hungry animals and we feel threatened when we see someone of similar status have something better than us. I think that one possible way to maybe decrease this is to put efforts forward to encourage people to find happiness within their stature. We are competitive and greedy and will always want something better than we have. This problem will forever plague industries but through careful evaluations of their employees and with certain measures being taken we could possibly decrease the severity of it.

  11. I think people in the workplace, and really in all aspects of life, need to remember that it is not all about “me.” It is not about “my” office size, “my” window overlooking the city, “my” fancy car, “my” expensive suit. It is about working together to achieve the goal of the company and working for the common good to better society. What really matters is who you are inside and how you can best contribute to better the company overall. If someone thinks that can only be done in a large corner office, they belong on the street corner looking up at that office because their priorities are not straight and they are not positively contributing to the business. Jealously is only going to hurt personal performance in the workplace and personal values in life. Although it is unavoidable, the good worker must try to avoid it at all costs. She must focus on the company as a whole and how she can best contribute to that, as a result bettering society and working toward the common good.

    • I really liked your response to the topic and I very much agree. People should focus on what they can do for the common and organizational improvement not only see own, selfish goals. What is more, jealousy is really destructive factor and might very negatively affect work environment and relations between people. Every organization is built from people and if they go against each other there is no possibility to create strong, effective unit. Employees should understand their roles and responsibilities in the team and fully committed to them. Additionally, employees must get clear and transparent incentives plan at the very beginning, so they can be aware of what to expect for which performance and what are requirements towards their work.
      People who see further and can predict future outcomes do not pay attention to materialistic, current elements which won’t last in opposite to the growth of the organization.

  12. If Bob wanted a bigger and better office than why did he seemingly not want to perform at a level above satisfactory? I think that’s his main issue. It was not what his coworker was doing, it was what he was doing. I think that can be lost in the workplace sometimes. People can overlook doing their work for the benefit of the company and instead make everything about beating out the guy in the cubicle or office next to them.

  13. I believe that looking for things to complain about is a sign of a bad worker. There are certain people that will always find something to complain about no matter what. These people think that everything should always go their way and whenever it doesn’t they will point fingers to anyone else bu themselves. A true leader never looks for someone else to take the blame and is accountable for themselves. A true leader also does not let jealousy cloud their judgment. The size of a room is irrelevant and complaining about that is just looking for trouble. The differences in the sizes of the rooms probably wasn’t even intentional.

  14. Appearances almost always have an impact whether consciously or subconsciously, many people tend to equate their physical ‘domain’ with their status, whether it be their homes cars or offices. Additionally the difference in office sizes may affect the motivation of these two different employees, apparently Frank may have recognized that the additional effort he exerted resulted in additional benefits, whether financial or spatial, and your observation of Bob’s discovery may indicate that he too recognizes the difference in office sizes. It is important to note that Bob’s reaction may indicate that he does not truly understand the difference that effort rewards employees and may simply recognize, as many of us do, that he has been slighted rather than that Frank deserved the better space.

  15. Josephine Livingston

    Once again I am reflecting before living this life of leisure. It always amaze me how upper management (Director, Second Line Manager) is concern about having an large office and one with a view. They assume their title mean that they are entitle and this is one of their many perks. Those who have the attitude, “I have arrive” are never satisfy, complain and want more. Whether their work area is in a cubicle or office (with the door close), their focus should be getting the work done and completed. Letting our “ego” fester, causes so much jealousy, bitterness, as well as a hostile environment, and the size of the office space in not the focus, its the know how and skills one possess to complete the job. No one own anything on job, correction, if you touch the job/project which needs to be done, guess what, you own it! The reward is not the size of your space, its getting the work done as a “team” and the greatest reward is reaching its goal to ensure customer satisfaction!

  16. As sad as it is, in reality the person who gets the better office is not necessarily the one who does the best job as much as it is the favorite among those who have the most power. Not only does a person need to be a top performer, he needs to be the top performer and favorite personality or, even more precisely, the one in whose favor the currently powerful want to be. If they don’t like the person, at least they want the person to like them. Right?

    I, personally, do not like that kind of thing. It’s like high school cliques, just annoying and petty. Those who do the best job should be rewarded. But, I guess that it is the way of the world. Perhaps there is no choice but to participate or perish. Perhaps it is really a secret incentive plan: do an awesome job AND make the “cool kids” love you, and you will get company benefits AND the secret menu benefits, such as a bigger office. I have a feeling, though, that in this secret incentive plan, performance may not be fairly evaluated, and incentives and are not necessarily based on performance.

  17. One of the biggest flaws of mankind is the looking at “what others have”. It is true sometimes in reality the people behind the scenes who make the big decisions might favor a person who has worked less hard than another. However it can be said that this type of “evaluation” is not based on performance or even through fair methods. In fact, it relies solely on the connections that the person has and how they are viewed. The issue that can begin to rise is the jealousy and or confusion when it comes to the promotion that the person was given. Others might view that move as unfair since the person might not have worked as hard as the rest. This would cause an uneasy work environment and create a hole in the trust the employee has with the incentive system. I try to always go by the idea that what others have is what they earned; I pay no attention to who has better things. That however, might be tough for other people to comply with when they deem something as unfair.

  18. Sadly, this stuff matters, and I believe that it always will. People are so worried about what others have and get jealous when someone else has more than them. Although both offices are the same size, Bob thinks that the Frank’s office is a better than his. If I was in your shoes I would have done the same thing. Why reward Bob if his work was only satisfactory. It would be a different story if Bob was a great employee that does everything right. I believe that the ones that do the job the right way should be rewarded. That should be the motivation to do a good job. As an early employer, I try and overachieve with everything I am doing, so that I am not in a position like Bob is in. Incentives are a great way to get your employers to work hard. When someone is happy, they are going to give you their best work. Therefore, reward those that will do this for your organization. I always work 110% always is so important because you never know whose watching. Therefore, if I want that corner office with more ceiling tiles than Bob one day, I will be rewarded when the time comes.

  19. Mary-Christina Onyeocha

    “These things matter. Except when they can’t and don’t.” Seeing the scenario of this office politics from the windows of the above quote, one could see that, it is broadly divided into two parts. Now, Bob is still an actor entertaining himself and his audience on Part I of the drama “when these things matter.” It takes a charismatic team playing leader to pull Bob out of this cloudy outlook of self-worth and achievement; probably, gently and diplomatically. If, unfortunately, the manager/leader is still a-stage-one-actor (in the same boat with Bob), this kind of petty jealousy possibly builds-up destructive-sticky swamps for Bob, the manager, and the organization at large. Reading through the lines, it could be analyzed that Frank seems to be an insider of the manager’s authority while Bob plays the role of an outsider trying to exercise power without authority.
    The question is, how long would it take before Part II – “when these things can’t and don’t matter” begins? No one knows. Part I (when these things matter) might cause short-term, intermediate, or long-term damages before giving way to Part II (when these things don’t and can’t matter). To some extent, the managerial/leadership skills of the manager/leader could intervene and reduce the possible damages this office politics could cause. On the other hand, if Bob understands that, office space matter; but, side-by-side with his self-worth and what he could positively offer to organization, such things “can’t and don’t matter.”

  20. Jelena Cobanovic

    I think that you did a fair job with assigning the offices to Bob and Frank and I would have done the same thing. Since Bob’s work was only satisfactory, how can he be upset and compare his office space to Frank’s? I believe that no matter what jealousy in the workplace will always exist, but sometimes it is unfair when employees who choose to perform only average are complaining. If Bob was giving his very own best at the time and his hard work was showing off the results by helping the company achieve its goals, it would make a little more sense if he was unhappy and wanted to upgrade his office space. However, even then I believe employees should not complain about their work conditions and environment but try to focus on more important things such as doing the best they can at the tasks they have been assigned to and achieving the company’s short term and long term goals. Once they do that, the management staff might be able to somehow reward them and that way, they show that they recognize when someone works hard and perform above average. If the management staff at least acknowledge employees hard work, it will give them additional motivation to perform even better which in general leads to more successful and positive work environment.

  21. After reading this article, I noticed a trend; you get what you put in. In Bob’s case he was a satisfactory worker that did everything that was asked of him, so in result his office replicated what he put in. Frank, who was the same level of prestige as Bob, had a significantly better office than Bob. This is because Frank exceeds expectations by putting in more effort; resulting in him getting an office that exceeds expectations. Until reading this piece, I never thought about the significance between office size and power. Having a big space symbolizes the power to have an influence over others, in turn helps you get things done! There is also a fine line between abusing your power and using it for good virtue. Power can often be abused and it is up to the leader to have an understanding on how to use power without putting fear into one’s followers.

  22. I think on paper have offices where everyone is equal is a good thing but i worry about complacency setting in. The article mentions how we perceive the looks of things with value so it we attac more value we can use this as motivation to do better. If everyone is the exact same in the office then someone may not try as hard but the person with the shinny new office, the large windows has a status symbol. A symbol that says i work harder and better than you. You can leverage this into a competitive but respeful work environment

  23. As a child, my grandma hammered into my mind the phrase, ” You get bees with honey.” I took that into friendship, academia and my professional life.

    Although the above story did not say who had a “higher” position or more responsibilities ultimately, if I was a boss, I would reward those with the best attitudes, the most pleasant to work with before the ones with foul attitudes and with such practices as tile- counting. It would never cross my mind to do such a thing. One, because I do not care and two, as to not upset myself either. Lastly, suppose there has been a remodel or renovation and the tiles are sized differently. Not only would you be loud and wrong, but sound ungrateful.

    That person would be someone I overlooked as I assigned more power, gave promotions and raises because there would never truly be enough and they have no grace. Grace and tact take you places skill could not get you into.

    Having had dinner conversations with my parents for years, who were both Law Enforcement supervisors, I was blessed to come into the workforce with a huge awareness of behaviors that stuck out for the worse and those that did for the better.

  24. Natalie M Barbieri

    Having a larger office space with a better view is a status symbol. With this in mind, bigger is better. Bigger symbolizes success in your company.

    My dad told me a story once. He said that when he was promoted, he received a corner office–it was a large space with larger windows on both sides. Sometimes he would stand by his windows and looked out onto the people 50 stories below walking around. When he retired, he told me that other employees were literally fighting over the space.

    I think that all employees want to look and feel successful. The feel of success comes from praise, raises, etc. Your boss telling you that you did a good job can brighten up a day. However, the look of success is also important. Some employees buy new clothes to look successful or a new car. But a new office really symbolizes success. Everyone sees it!

  25. In my opinion, the article shows the influence of how perks like office space. I think Bob’s anger replaced his embarrassment is natural feeling because he realized that he has smaller office. Many companies treat their employees equally if they are at the same pay grade, but unfortunately they are not equal in square footage. I feel that companies should be equal for square footage with their employees who are at the same position, in order to treat them equally treated. The article mentioned how we perceive the looks of thing with value so we can use this as motivation to do better in our work place. I believe that all employees want to be more successful because the feel of success comes from raises and praise. For example, if your manager telling you that you did a good job, that can brighten up a day. However, the feel of success is very important.

  26. Damilola Anjorin

    Open space does not guarantee that everyone will be treated equally and I do not believe it will limit Office politics. Someone is always going to be better, someone is always going to be smarter, there will always be preference. Even if everyone is in the same office space, everyone’s level of productivity will not be the same, neither will everyone have the same level of commitment. As mentioned in the article, “the bigger the office, the greater the perceived power to influence and lead” Jealousy and ego in the workplace exist in every organization and this is based on the individual that is affected regardless of how much provision is made available, instead of being jealous, we can seek to influence and always try to exceed expectation in our dealings.

  27. Veronica Cordova

    In any business environment employees will always be jealous of others. Jealousy is created when a person feels insecure or anxious about his/her importance or value to others. Especially, in the workplace when jealousy can cause problems inside the organization. Managers or CEO’s from companies should treat all employees equally. Praise all employees for a job well done instead of just a select few. Avoid favoritism and ask for opinions of all workers, instead of relying on a select few to prevent jealousy. Remember that resentment and jealousy can cause lack of teamwork. Organizations should not treat departments differently from each other. They all should work as one team. In conclusion, Managers should create a work team atmosphere and stop favoritism among from employees.

  28. Meagan McClendon

    In this situation it seems that Bob was unable to make the connection between his performance and the size of his office. Although Bob and Frank were on the same level in the organization with regards to pay, Bobs inability to go beyond what was required of him resulted in a smaller office. When an employee in in a situation like Bobs, they are likely not to improve due to their jealousy and ego. The employee feels slighted which then results in them not pushing themselves to go above and beyond within the organization. This pattern can turn in to a viscous cycle if the employee does not get out of their own way. Once an employee is no longer motivated, they basically have relegated themselves to a stagnant position within the workplace. A disengaged employee has to reevaluate their outlook which can be easier said than done. They have to drop their ego and turn their anger for their predicament into focusing on becoming motivated by others around them, even people they may be jealous of. In Bobs situation, he could take a step back and analyze what Frank is doing that he is not which could lead to him getting more recognition.

  29. I agree with this article. As a person with power in an organization, there are certain benefits and incentives that should come with the positions, one of them being large offices. But those factors are not necessarily making the person a leader. In this article, we see Bob, a subpar worker, who has been given an executive position in an organization by some means. He wants all the bells and whistles that Frank enjoys a fellow executive, but he hasn’t put in the work that Frank has, and it shows by the benefits and incentives he was given. This also brings up another point, that sometimes it doesn’t matter what an employee is given, they will not be happy. Also, this brings about the point that all employees don’t perceive certain benefits as important as others. If Bob deserved this position, HR or his manager would need to sit down with him to see what he finds important and work out what could to make sure he is satisfied. A satisfied employee usually is a happy employee. And satisfied and happy employee usually produced results.

  30. Priscilla Sanchez

    Jealousy came upon Bob because he realized that he was not getting the equal amount of office space as Frank was getting. He knew that although they had the same position and same pay rate, that there was a difference there. The difference was that Frank exceeded expectations and went above and beyond for his job which is why managers were impressed by him and his work ethics. Bob on the other hand was different. He did his job like he was told and was given satisfactory results, but he did not go above his job description which is why he was given less power. Prof. Yoest, was the one who assigned his room knowing that there was a difference among the two rooms of the same position. However, it was not intensional and did not know that Bob would legit go and count the tiles.

  31. Euclides Rengifo

    This article really is very important because it lets see the reality of how clients can persist the power of a director when they enter his office and observe in detail the space and comfort of the office, and this is very true although the functions of the employee, coordinator or manager of an organization are not as important or extra-corporate for the entire corporation, the size of the office, his desk, and chair visually represent importance and power to fellow employees and customers.

    On the other hand, I know that the environment of an office depends on how the spaces, the designs and the decorations or images are used with messages that decorate the walls because each person who comes to the place can visually read sentences or see images that They inspire a leader to conquer their goals successfully.

  32. I think it is important to provide equal pays and benefits to all employees to keep the workplace in peace and ethical environment with the existing resources and conditions. If you have to make a decision about one bigger room to give one of two employees who are in the equal positions and get equal pays, there should be some other evaluation factors. For example, one of them might be working longer than other or one`s performance would be better than other. These kind of evaluation factors would take roles in decision making process.

  33. Appearances count. The number of ceiling tiles is a clue on how much power an individual can exercise. The bigger the office, the greater the perceived power to influence and to lead — even across my modest organizational structure. Power gets things done.

    This article related to previous readings about power and influence. These two qualities are not the same. A leader can have power, but not be influential. Influence comes from within whereas power can be attained through a number of ways, including appearance. If a leader does not have the best office or wears the nicest outfits, then they are perceived to have more power. Employees will then listen to their leader and things will get done. As materialistic as this sounds, I think it is very true. Even in the smallest businesses, appearance will generate power. I have seen this on my own teams, big and small. The leaders and coaches carry themselves with great pride and nice appearances. Therefore, they had power and credibility. I also have experienced leaders who did not carry themselves with any sort of pride and appearance. As a result, followers were not influenced by them and did not think of them as having any power.

  34. No matter what type of environment an individual is in, jealousy and ego will always play a factor in their personal development. It is human nature to want what you cannot have, or in this case, did not earn. I think when it comes to work related issues and jealousy, people have to have a higher standard of self-awareness for themselves. In this article, does Bob really think that he does better work than Frank and deserves to have the bigger office? If he knows that his evaluation tells him that he is satisfactory, does he not realize that he needs to be better than than and go above in beyond in order to get things that are also above satisfactory? As humans, we are always comparing ourselves to others, but rather than dwelling and complaining about what we do not have, we have to use it as motivation to push ourselves to achieve to get what we want.

  35. Jealousy within a workplace can cause a lot of unecessary drama. People always feel that everything is about them in the office when it should be about the whole team. I think a lot of times people think too highly about themselves, so when someone else gets praise they are upsetted by this.Everyone is going to achieve at something and do better than someone else. I think you just have to be happy for your team and work hard to achieve you goals. Managers have to make sure they are creating an environment that includes everyone and stop showing favoritism. Managers show favoritism by the way they praise employees and giving them special treatment. Managers have to give all their employees the same treatment to make sure jealousy isn’t in their team dynamic.

  36. Even if we do not recognize it verbally, the size of someone’s office is almost always correlated with their power position in an organization. As you stated in the article about giving a lesser employee a smaller office. Even though these two men had the same position on paper, it is easy to decipher who was the true leader in the organization. It is good practice to have an open door policy in an organization because it helps company culture, but sometimes it is necessary for higher ups to flex their power in order to get things done. It is important to model ourselves off of great leaders throughout history but it is often hard to imitate their practice because they have a special gift most do not possess.
    Another point a agree with in the article is if you do have a jealous employee or someone who feels they have been wronged (even though they have not) it is important to quell the situation before it becomes something bigger. The importance of having face-to-face conversations cannot be overstated as most of the times parties can reach an agreement.

  37. It seems that Bob’s awareness of the superiority of his co-worker’s office was his wake-up call alerting him to his true position in the organization. It was at this time that Bob may have first realized there were differences between himself and Frank, despite sharing the same title and pay. In the Federal Government, attempts are made to avoid situations such as this, by mandating that everyone of a certain pay grade receive desks or offices that are identical to each other. Also, specific office locations are assigned by seniority to prevent management favoritism. I feel that it is natural, and even healthy, for people to compare themselves to their peers. Perhaps after this incident, Bob did some introspection and realized that Frank is a more exceptional employee who deserved the better office. Maybe not. Making decisions such as these are part of the fun and the headaches of being a manager. I think the manager did the right thing by assigning the better office to the superstar employee, as it lets that employee know that his efforts are seen and appreciated. It also sends a message to employees such as Bob regarding the types of behavior that will be rewarded by management.

  38. Mayara Correa Bonamichi

    In my opinion, ego and jealousy are always going to be present in any organization. Coworkers are partners but most of the time they are competitors, and the power of each employee is always going to be measured by the other coworkers. It can be the size of the office or the reserved spot on the parking lot, people always have a way to measure which person has more power. Bob was the kind of employee that just delivered what was asked and nothing more, so he should not expect to have the same office as an employee that put more effort into the job and that has a better performance, he needs to see what the employee does to deserve a bigger office. I believe reward in this case can help the employees and the organization, Bob can use his jealousy as a motivation to work better and put more effort into his job. To avoid the kind of situation that Bob and Frank had, the manager needs to treat all the employees in the same way in order to have a good working environment.

  39. The team I am a part of right now all have the same size cubicles, even the middle managers. The only the chief officers and vice presidents of our organization have the perks of having a larger corner office with a nice view. My peers compete and compare for things that may not be measured by a tape measure. We see who can gain the most favor from the leadership by taking on extra projects or being overly friendly. The leadership often reward the go-getters with additional training or favor you as new roles are created. The department lead that sits in the identical cubicle across the aisle from mine does not boast or misuse her authority but levies our need for attention to get the job done. Her positive reinforcement and career planning assistance make us want to reach department goals.

  40. Reading this jealousy and envy is a major factor when it comes to work space. Sometimes as humans we have the half empty perspective vs. the half full view. Bob seeing that his office was smaller than franks made him feel less than when he shouldn’t. when I worked at Harris teeter distribution the structure of the front offices where the same. They prided their selves on making managers feel as if they were on the same level. Which I understand that, but we know life isn’t going to be fair and we can have a totally different view about things. Not everyone gets an office and for him to have one is a blessing because he couldn’t have one completely. Jealousy is a virus that needs to get out of the work place and word period because it causes more harm to not the jealous party but people around. What if the boss of the company had a small office and he didn’t would he be jealous? Sometimes people can just be appreciative of what they have things will turn out in a different outcome for them.

  41. I found the article interesting and yet peculiar. In my office our motto is, put me anywhere, just pay me the dividends. However, I do agree that respect is a two way street and that managers should lead by example and resist the temptation to posture.

  42. I suspect that there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t want something they cannot have. Being unhappy with our position in the hierarchy of our office’s so-called political structure is simply garden-variety discontent. Whether it be in a person’s private life or at work, such discontent, is insidious. It stems from our nature inclination to fail to put things into proper perspective – put things in their proverbial “proper place.” Is a big, corner office with a view nice? Of course. Is it for anyone and everyone? Of course not. Size and view comes with a lot of responsibility and difficult “business” problems; i.e. a healthy, or more likely, unhealthy, dose of stress. Life experience has taught me that if you focus on the right things: hard work, sacrifice, the Golden Rule, “managing up,” etc., then the object of your desire can be yours someday. Unfortunately, people overly concerned about the trappings of power and their relation to it, tend to misplace valuable energy and focus. Obviously, there has to be a connection between performance and reward. Incentives, organizational inducements, like a nice workspace, are very real. I do wonder though, if such “old school” incentives, like THE office, still have the same allure as they seem to have always had.

  43. When it comes to office space, the question of whether bigger is better probably depends on the situation. For someone who is truly a leader, the office, or space, in which their desk is located should really not matter. The true leader is able to inspire and influence others through their own inherent power that they possess because of who they are as a person, the manner in which they conduct themselves, and the way they treat other people. The true leader is secure in their own stature despite the situation or the environment in which they find themselves. The true leader does not require the possession of status symbols, such as a large office, to signify their status.
    On the other hand, people in management positions who do not naturally possess the qualities to influence other people may be assisted by having assets, such as a large office, to display their importance. Higher management may even provide such managers these assets to help make them more influential within the organization. By presenting the appearance that such managers possess a certain level of power within the organization, they may be able to use this perception to influence the right people to get the job done.

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