What's you problem?

I'VE BEEN TURFED OUT of my office and forced to share an open-plan space with the rest of the team. It's noisy, distracting and inconvenient: I can no longer have private meetings or phone calls.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Senior management say the new arrangement is better for office culture, but this is grinding me down. Do you think I have a case to get my old office back?

A: THE MORE UPSET YOU ARE - or rather, the more you reveal how upset you are - the less likely you are to get your way. Your management will have been prepared for hostility to change and will choose to see your complaining as typically Luddite resistance to progress. They'll also worry about precedent: if they give in to you, where will it end?

So cut out all whingeing and don't use emotive phrases like 'turfed out'.

However difficult you find it, maintain your cool. Base your case entirely on the move's effect on your efficiency. Identify and log the number of times in a day you need to take confidential business calls and hold confidential business meetings. Make your case as specific to yourself as you legitimately can.

And to get anything like your prized privacy back, be prepared to compromise.

I'm afraid it's still a long shot, but it's your only hope.

Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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