Monday, 12 January 2015

Office Life

Not my office (although v similar to an office from my past)

Like most people these days I work in an office.

An open-plan office at that. At last count my floor had 140 staff squirrelled away, covering 3 business outlets and 4 departments. All of us are part of the same umbrella multi-media corporation.

Doesn't that just make it sound like I'm Miss Fancy-pants.

However, reality and the perceived nature of my day-to-day working life don't always tally up. Hence, I don't really talk about it and spend a lot of my day in cloud cuckooland rather than deal with the office politics that are always simmering just below the waterline.

What does happen, is that your team become like a little family. I'm not saying that everyone will love each other, far from it in many cases, but you do learn how to get on with things and leave them to their own devices.

Many business leaders, including Richard Branson, believe that treating staff like a family is advantageous. There is something to be said when a manager can walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

Before falling into the job I have now, I previously worked as a professional temp. I ran myself as a business temping up and down the country. I worked in various industries for  five years until I worked out what I actually wanted to do with my life... I'm not fully there yet, but I rather like what I do at the minute.

I worked for companies who deemed I wasn't northern enough when I answered the phone - strangely I didn't stay there long. I've been the main bottle washer and pot collector as an office junior. Literally counting the washers in a jar. I've processed sex offender reports and logged police evidence. I have even turned my hand to bar work and making flash cocktails for an American restaurant chain. At some point in my working life I have done pretty much everything a person could in an office.

What has stuck out for me is how teams work. It's like a complicated jigsaw, balancing a team that can work well together is an operation in personality tweaking. Generally the more a team has the flexibility to make their own decisions and have fun while doing the work the more likely they are to gel, and when their backs are against the wall more likely to be able to turn things around with minimal fuss.

Sadly in an open plan office these ideals are hard to uphold. One person's light-hearted frivolity is another person's headache inducing nightmare. Or a phone call that might get a bit heated can be heard across the office. Hands up if that has ever happened to you.

It's not the most interesting life in the world, not that much happens there that is of interest to the outside world, but my word I wouldn't change it. I work with some berks and others that keep their true selves so far buried you'd fear they'd never come up for air. My team is a mixed bag of folk, and for the most part we are each as geeky as the next and pedants at their very worst. 

More office life posts will more than likely appear over the course of the next year here on What BeeBee Did... mainly as I do office life an awful lot right now. 

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