DC Comics Moving Offices Yet Again, To A "Hot Desk" Model

It's time for some DC Comics reportage. Some people say that Bleeding Cool runs every story we get regardless of its provenance or likelihood. That's just not true, stories are weighed up by the reliability of sources, the closeness to the situation and number of confirmations. Wall, a couple of weeks ago, I got the word that over the past few weeks DC Comics staff, who had still been working from home, had been allowed into the Burbank headquarters building to retrieve their belongings which they couldn't get at during the lockdowns. That they had been told that Warners was to going to "using the space for something else" and that DC Comics will no longer have access to these three floors of prime Warner Bros real estate. And everyone was moving again to offices close by. It seems that DC staffers working from home (or in one case, Hawaii) had done such a good job during the pandemic that physical proximity in the primest of prime estate was suddenly seen as an excess cost by Warners.

"DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. Burbank, CA 8/28/2015 (photo by John McCoy Daily News)"
From DC PR, back in the day when everyone had a desk, and Dan DiDio still had an office.

Anyway, at the time, I couldn't get a second source I was happy with, so I let it simmer. A spinning plate. Waiting for a second show to drop and another horrendous mixed metaphor. And that just landed in my inbox. A report posted to a private Whatsapp group from one DC Comics staffer saw them packing up their cubicle for the new DC building, and confirming that they will now be working on a "hot desk" model in the new building. Also known as "shared workspace", that indicates an office working environment in which people are not all in the office at the same time. So desks are not attributed to any one person, any employee can sit down and use a desk as if it were their own. So you can have fewer desks than staff, which cut costs in terms of office space, and technology needs, but it can also create quite the soulless working environment, devoid of personal quirks. Which is why ad agencies that I have worked at which have used this working model, have also thrown in table tennis tables, Subbuteo and snooker tables in order to try and create a conviviality. The kind that has been removed by people no longer having their collection of Warhammer miniatures lined up and down their cubicle, as if they are about to launch a surprise attack on any visiting executives.

DC Comics offices have become famous for reflecting the individual personalities of employees at their desks, booths or cubicles. Whether that was Paul Levitz' elastic band balls, Dan DiDio's potted plants that Jude Terror once believed I was hiding in, or the DC branded neon signs on desks that could be seen from the street. But in the new building, it will be first come first served for those who come into the building, while the rest work from home. And most DC Comics staffers will no longer have a permanent place to work and no one can have their personal items in the office.

From DC PR, from the walls of Burbank HQ

DC Comics is not the only business going through post-lockdown changes. The plan is for employees to come into the building when necessary for meeting, or group projects, but spend more of their time working from home, only coming into the building when necessary. Senior staff may have more of a permanent presence. Who they will be sharing space in the new building, may shed light on the DC merger rumours I was hearing from senior sources previously. I am told to see this move in that light, as Warner Bros reorganises its various divisions ahead of the upcoming conglomerated Discovery sale.

And yes, Bleeding Cool broke the news that DC Comics was moving to Burbank back in 2013, something still referred to as the greatest form of corporate vandalism performed upon the comic book industry in New York, but plenty of folks have done worse since, I'm sure. In comparison, the DC Hot Desk Office Move will probably be a mere wrinkle.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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