The headline to this post was not written by folk at the Onion. The managers at the Free University of Amsterdam have decided that university staff have to share office-space efficiently. This has had a surprising consequence for the theologians and philosophers (the first departments with new-look offices). As the Dutch newspaper, Trouw, reported: "bookcases are now 'something for home'; department employees have up to 3.8 meters of books per person now. In addition, there should be a common department bookcase." If you go to the official university web-page of Dutch philosopher of science, Hans Radder, one can find under "Office hours:" "We don´t have offices anymore. For an appointment, please send an email."
For folk that can read Dutch the economic sub-text of the piece in Trouw is instructive; the chair of the philosophy department, Rene van Woudenberg is, quoted as follows: "We had the choice between expensive rental spaces where people can store a lot of stuff and own books; or we could choose to spend our budget on staff with more limited office space. We have chosen the latter. Not in an expensive new office-office, but with a renovation in the old university building, which saves a lot, because every square meter has a price." Oddly, the piece does not mention that the Free University has been notorious for its financial blunders with derivatives (see here and even here) and a considerable loss due to Icelandic investments (initially belittled by the university).