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Started by Shadrack22 on Jan 6, 2020 8:20:30 PM
What is your working environment like?

Do you work from home or go to a place of work?

Do you share an office?

Is there a company dining area?

Is there an area round the back of the building where the smokers congregate?

Talk about it here.

widenation - 06 Jan 2020 20:23:51 (#1 of 42)

There's a smoking area - but as a vaper I just puff out the front of the building. No one has complained. I am due to be moved from my current mezzanine-level spot which is going to become a 'beanbag area'. Don't have an issue with this especially - as I sit below the aircon outlet which my colleagues like to be ice cold, even in January.

Verdigris - 06 Jan 2020 20:27:29 (#2 of 42)

My work environment is either the great outdoors or a Toyota Aygo. I work on my own, often don't see anybody else from the company for several months at a time.

hailesaladdie - 06 Jan 2020 21:56:27 (#3 of 42)

I work from home some days, and in the office others.

The office is a charmless and confusingly laid out 70s building incongruously located in a residential area on the edge of town. It's a mixed bag for the 1000+ of us working there.

There's a canteen which is OK. Used to be rather good, but they've been determined to keep the same price with increased costs. There's also a coffee place, which is great, and the people working there are fab. But these foster a culture of eating and having a coffee together, and these are good things.

It's open plan. About 150 people in an unbroken space where I am. It can get noisy and difficult to concentrate on detailed work - the irony is, when I need to do the complex stuff, I need the big screen at my desk, so finding a quiet corner isn't possible.

Some of it is old fashioned, slightly grubby desks, but these have a lot more space than the refitted areas. Lots of "informal meeting spaces" - but again, noise is an issue.

The lighting means I need to wear specially tinted glasses in the building. This isn't unique to this environment, however.

Toilets are a disgrace. What is it with UK offices and awful toilets? Maybe it's just my luck.

widenation - 06 Jan 2020 22:23:30 (#4 of 42)

I bet my bogs are worse than yours. Three cublicles on my floor (20 or so blokes), only one of which flushes properly. The one functioning bog - if you need a dump - is commonly showered with piss for some reason.

Shadrack22 - 06 Jan 2020 22:30:36 (#5 of 42)

I am in a five person office. Person six will be recruited soon, but there is no room for a sixth desk. Therefore we will be hot desking (we’ve already been issued with laptops) and a working from home rota will be drawn up. Fine for me - it will save a ninety minute commute.

I work at a university, so various dining options on campus.

KizzyK - 06 Jan 2020 23:05:52 (#6 of 42)

I work from home, and also in assorted music/hire venues plus, each week, a couple of village halls, community centres and best/oddest of all a big boat shed where every week the carpenters creating a hand built full size replica of a saxon longship get just a little further on. Kind of cool.

crabbyoldbat - 06 Jan 2020 23:06:55 (#7 of 42)

I work from home, with occasional meetings out. For the past year I've shared an office with MrC, which took some getting used to after 11 years alone. Over the holidays, for family-staying logistic reasons, we moved his desk downstairs, and he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to come back. Suits me.

Anchorman - 06 Jan 2020 23:07:44 (#8 of 42)

I work in gardens so unless it's very hot or wet it's very pleasant.

Onegin - 06 Jan 2020 23:11:12 (#9 of 42)

I work in a prison. The building I work in is full of asbestos. The interior is badly decorated and neglected. There is a constant atmosphere of simmering hostility. Colleagues are overworked and underpaid, but there is a good spirit amongst us. We get by through minor acts of kindness and a lot of inappropriate humour. There is an excellent, subsidised restaurant catered for by prisoners doing cookery Nvqs. The toilets are awful.

robespere - 06 Jan 2020 23:17:32 (#10 of 42)

It's an open plan office. Public transport to it is good. The place has a restaurant but not subsidised. It's cheaper to walk about a mile and back to "a meal deal" at the local supermarket, unless you are just buying a plate of chips or soup and a roll. A lot of effort and cost has been spent on "breakout" space. I think these are extravagent and don't add anything much. Nonetheless the management has worked along model lines, with declining budget to ensure, in their view, that we are all comfortable in the office.

As ever there are the grumblers, whose company I enjoy. I can't say it's a happy place rather it's a place where we do things in return for payment. Anything else would be ridiculous.

Leftie - 07 Jan 2020 10:11:18 (#11 of 42)

I still don't have a new job and I was told to stay until I retire and keep applying for the London vacancies and talk to more of my colleagues about it all.

But we were in an industrial estate with holes in the roof (it was a brand new building at the time). Taps which didn't work very well and bathrooms which flooded. We were all in touch with the company running the place though and the fact is, we could have told THEM what our work problems were. "Tell HR" the staff would probably say. One of the managers was trying to stop us talking to HR and she had no right doing so.

You couldn't really have a conversation in the kitchen either in peace. Everyone can hear you. It's best to go out to the shops and talk outside.

We could probably have asked the coffee shop staff as well who go around the estate. How is our manager going to find out what we say to them? I would be surprised if they passed on our conversations. We've got perfectly nice cleaners as well and people were horrible to them, dumping the recycling rubbish in any old bin and the cleaner kept having to put them in the right ones.

I've only just realised, 3 of the managers are bullies and they chat to the cleaners like they've done nothing. "Hello, I want some coffee". And the cleaners and coffee shop staff have NO idea how horrible these people are. They've also got no idea that I've done nothing about our problems. But hardly ANYONE bothers talking to the cleaners there at all. I don't see why not.

One of them went on holiday and came back to a messy cupboard. I probably could have talked to her about it all. I honestly never even thought to discuss it with her.

We could ALL have talked to the cleaners probably. "I've done something really stupid, what do I do now?".

Cordelia - 07 Jan 2020 12:51:19 (#12 of 42)

I work on a campus with buildings ranging from gorgeous Georgian terraces via boring Edwardian houses knocked together to make offices and nasty 60s blocks to some shonky-looking portacabins. I am in one of the Edwardian bits and share an office technically with 11 other people. The office contains 10 desks, and is actually designed for 6 people, so the desks are teeny tiny, we have no storage and no personal belongings and we have to hot desk. Lockers are a corridor and a flight of stairs away, as is the shared kitchen, though once you have found it, it's quite nice. Big fridge, microwave, plenty of cupboard space, clean and tidy.

Bogs are horrid - two small cubicles, one gents, one ladies. Prior to our arrival the few chaps that inhabited the entire floor used both toilets - when we moved in they stopped using the ladies. However as there are only two women in what is now a floor of 17 people, both cubicles have been officially designated gender neutral, and are therefore to be regularly found with the seat up, and a puddle of piss on the floor, into which the tail of the bog roll hangs, soaking up large quantities.

Food options are good, a coffee shop with a decent range of sandwiches and snacks, and a canteen with a salad bar and chicken and pizza counter, and another that does daily changing specials for £5 - burgers on Monday, bubble and squeak on Tuesdays, pizza on Wednesday, fish and chips on Friday. I can't remember what's on Thursdays. I usually bring my own lunch anyway.

We are over the road from one of London's nicer parks, so a lunchtime stroll is both feasible, and welcome after being cramped into an overcrowded office. For those that prefer a little more exercise, we have a small gym, that is free for staff members, just over the road.

Catspyjamas17 - 07 Jan 2020 13:00:37 (#13 of 42)

It's pretty good, near almost all the food shops, restaurants, pubs and clothes shops you could ever want in your life. Beautiful historic building, the only downside is it's slightly below pavement level and mobile reception is pants. There is a cheap and pretty good gym nearby which I joined last month.

I have my own office which is unheard of these days, long may that continue. Because there are at most only six of us in at once we do make the effort to stop and have coffee and have a formal break where we all go into the kitchen and sit and chat, in the morning and the afternoon, unless we are very busy.

There is a fully equipped kitchen so you could cook a three course dinner in there if you wanted to. Also I tend to WFH two days a week so I only commute in three days and enjoy this balance.

At home I have a proper office set up and look out at the front garden and the street. My mum makes me cups of tea. I take the dog for a run in the morning or at lunch time.

staticgirl - 07 Jan 2020 14:00:59 (#14 of 42)

I work from home 1 day a week. The rest of the time I work in a very tall 1960s high-rise with terrible air-con (always too hot or too cold) crammed in like battery chickens in an open plan office with no noise dampening or anywhere quiet to go. There is a couple of hundred of us in a space that used to sit about 60 when we moved in.

I have never worked anywhere with a canteen.

Is there an area round the back of the building where the smokers congregate? No. I don't think anyone smokes any more. There is one bloke in comms who vapes but I think he goes for a walk with his vape.

We shall be moving this year as the contract is up and the landlords want to convert the offices into 'luxury' flats. I don't hold out any hope that wherever we shall go will be better. We haven't been told yet because the contract wrangling is still taking place.

Transport used to be reliable but in the last year has been so bad that even if the train slows down unexpectedly my stomach turns over because the passengers have been dumped and abandoned so many times.

I would enjoy my job a lot more if the working and commuting conditions were less physically awful.

carterbrandon - 08 Jan 2020 16:31:44 (#15 of 42)

I've just been made redundant, so it is the tiny back bedroom, full of boxes, ironing boards, a combi boiler, shelving and junk.

However, shortly before being made redundant I dropped 30K on a loft conversion, so in 2 weeks it will be a room with new furniture and several temptingly distracting musical instruments. One of them brand new.

I probably won't actually work again. I am struggling to care.

FleurDuMal - 08 Jan 2020 16:45:01 (#16 of 42)

We seem to have an alarming level of staff sickness at present, meaning those of us still standing are having to cover extra classes. Unsurprisingly, this is causing stress, leading to more sickness, and so it goes on.

widenation - 08 Jan 2020 16:48:24 (#17 of 42)

Pretty much everyone in my office is ill. I wish they'd fuck off home.

Pheeep - 08 Jan 2020 18:55:19 (#18 of 42)

I used to work in an award winning, rather quirky (glass bottomed pool on the first floor, into which two Nobel laureates had fallen), brick building. Open plan, but with shoulder-high partitions giving a decent amount of privacy. Large desks with room for two enormous monitors. Then they decided to reorganise the space to fit more people in. Narrow, serried ranks of programmers, squashed together, at which point I decided to retire. I am a free-range programmer, not a battery farmed drone.

surferboogiewhatever - 08 Jan 2020 19:15:24 (#19 of 42)

Do you work from home or go to a place of work?

Go to a place of work.

Do you share an office?

No (on both counts)- it's not an office and I am almost always the only paid employee in the building at any given time. Sometimes I have volunteer helpers.

Is there a company dining area?

I've been known to eat a sandwich in the tiny "back room." Incidentally, an even tinier room off that one houses a toilet, which theoretically only I am allowed to use but I occasionally let small children go if they cross their legs convincingly enough.

Is there an area round the back of the building where the smokers congregate?

There's a 4- or 5-metre drop at the back of the building, and no smokers to congregate.

I love it. When I started this job I thought I might find the responsibility of opening up, locking up and making all the day-to-day decisions rather overwhelming, but now I'm very happy in what feels like my own little world, tinkering with layouts and getting to know the villagers.

DishyFishy - 08 Jan 2020 19:51:31 (#20 of 42)

I work from home. I'd consider going into the office more if there were cubicles to work in, but it's all open plan and full of noisy oafs..

The company is very big on flexible working, so I can work 8-4 or even 12-8 if I need to.

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