Our office space is small, and quickly I’m seeing that the divide is not only just a physical one, but a difference in work philosophy and atmosphere.
The War Room
In one room are two strategy consultants and one lead computer scientist, Jeff, Brent and Steve, accompanied by several hired employees or contractors. In there, the light is dim, the silence thick as everybody stares at incomprehensible data flickering on brightly lit screens…everybody gets along very well, but in a room of very smart, very intense people every so often the sounds of intense conversation–called “productive friction”–will spill out into the hallway as they solve the world’s problems (or maybe just their clients). Because the team seems to respect each other a lot, friction more often than not turns into creative production pulled together from their diverse powers. When you walk in there, the air practically hums with all this collective brain power– like a room filled with one of those new connected supercomputers. To be honest, I tiptoe when I’m in there, whispering and hoping the IQ Gods don’t yank me out of there for daring to cross the threshold of the WAR ROOM.
The Party Room
In contrast, the atmosphere in the office that Mike and I share is more like a PARTY ROOM. There’s always laughter and jokes going on in here while we get our work done, and you never know who you’ll find lounging around –a client who dropped in, a friend of Mike’s (usually the same thing) or somebody talking about the Next Big Thing. I need to request a bean bag chair, a foosball table and a bunch of microwaved popcorn to make this room official! And since Mike was once a technical project manager and a software tester in another life he could actually be in both rooms, making him officially Office Agnostic. (Say that three times fast.)
All members of the team cross over into the War Room and the Party Room regularly during the day, and both sides get along well with each other well. I think the consultants and programmers like to come into the Party Room to grab some food, shoot the breeze and actually well… see this little thing called sunlight 🙂 Ever since the Rice Krispy treats and Beef Jerky started being stored close to my desk, making me the unofficial GateKeeper of the Snacks, I see a lot of those guys. And it’s fun.