I’m reading a book by Nikil Saval. I bought it because I really enjoyed his controversial New Yorker article about Jony Ive’s Apple career. The book is called Cubed. It’s a history of the office and the office worker. There’s an early chapter about Frederick Taylor and the scientific quest for perfect efficiency—Taylorism:
”There is not a single worker”, Taylor would repeat, “who does not devote a considerable part of his time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace”.
He was a maniac, the man would creep up behind you with a stopwatch.
There’s interesting stuff about the evolving architecture and design of office spaces too, executive suites, open plans, spontaneous serendipitous interactions, that sort of thing. It’s an interesting read.