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Re: On Creating an Effective Work Environment

by dbwiz (Curate)
on Aug 22, 2003 at 11:20 UTC ( #285749=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to On Creating an Effective Work Environment

In addition to the excellent advice already given, here are a few links with food for thought.

  • Programming outside the cube

    We put our people in cubicles and then tell them to think outside the box.
    Hmm, cubes are boxes, so that essentially means:
    We put our people in boxes and then tell them to think outside the box.
    OK, that makes more sense, so we have a box, but we are supposed to leave it to think. Cool. I'll be in the park for the next few hours.
    Uhm, if you leave before your shift is up, you're fired.
    So, I supposed to think outside the box for this job, but I'm not allowed to leave the box to think. How am I supposed to think outside the box.
    Damn it, that what your off time is for.
    But my off time is supposed to be for me to do my own thing.
    Officer, arrest this bourgeois bastard. He is being unconventional. Thinks he's better than the rest of us.
  • Lord of the flies
    • sabotage the lights. Find a ladder and take out all the fluorescent bulbs, then let folk bring in whatever lighting they're comfortable with. When maintenance turns up, tell them you're using flash-ram and that fluoro lights will destroy six months' work. If necessary, actually purchase some flash-ram.
    • sabotage the chairs. A good place to get comfy chairs from is executive conference rooms. Just souvenir one chair from each room in the dead of night. Put the old uncomfy chairs in your new conference enclosure. When maintenance turns up, point out the uncomfy chairs in your conference room and demand they be replaced with comfy conference room chairs
  • Ringer tape
    Quiet phone by wrapping the ringer with tape.
  • Peopleware
    • get the right people;
    • make them happy so they don't want to leave; and
    • turn them loose (i.e., empower them)
  • Comment on Re: On Creating an Effective Work Environment

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Re: Re: On Creating an Effective Work Environment
by chanio (Priest) on Aug 23, 2003 at 01:41 UTC
    I was also thinking about Food for the thought!

    I think that it is a good sign to ask others before creating a good working environment at these days that seem that everything is pulling us down to the past. (might be there are still some wrong aproachings to the future that our karma must overcome?)

    I believe that coherence has nothing to do with new tech and amazing environments, but only to some human constants that have always worked well. If you search for these human constants you are never going to get wrong results. Nevertheless, they might surprise you, and enrich you. It shouldn't depend on the money, or the fashion, or the people, or showing off.

    Working must be constant creation and of course, clear communication.

    People that feels lonely, aprettiate a lot good company. So if your working environment goes well, noone would want to leave it. And would care if the company is not getting the comercial results that should need to keep them working together. People don't need to be friends but to feel good sharing a common place and job.

    These are simple facts, but real for every part of the world, don't you think?

      Absolutely! So often, management set out with the best intentions in the world to create great working environments; build cohesive and cooperative teams; facilitate and promote communication; encourage and reward involvement, interest and commitment to the company/team/project. They will often put time, money and resources behind the endevour.

      The problem is, that in their enthusiasm for "doing it right", they forget one crucial aspect: The human factor!

      People are not the same. The environments, working methods, encouragements and perks that work for one guy can be a complete turn off to the next. Ignoring this factor and opting for a 'one size fits all' edict, completely misses the boat with respect to what they are hoping to achieve. The growing mantra of management to their employees since the late 70s has been flexibility.

      Flexibility of working practices. Flexible response to the demands of the job. All too often this is seen as a one way street. For it to work, it has to be two way. Management has to be flexible in their understanding and tolorance of the preferences and foibles of their workforce.

      This doesn't mean allowing guys to bunk off, or take liberties, or not pull their weight, or be prima donnas.

      It does means respecting that some people work best in quiet environments and others like music. Some need comfy chairs, playpen distractions, discussion groups and team building outings. Others would simply prefer to be left alone to do their work.

      It doesn't mean that they should be allowed to buck the requirements to communicate their progress or lack of it, or side step peer reviews, nor avoid administrative requirements or only work on the 'plum jobs'. That simply generates resentment.

      It does mean recognising personality differences like the morning person/ evening person syndrome. Work alone/ work in groups preferences.

      Force fitting people into or out of boxes by blanket edict, serves no one.


      Examine what is said, not who speaks.
      "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
      "When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." -Richard Buckminster Fuller
      If I understand your problem, I can solve it! Of course, the same can be said for you.

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