I work from our office once a week - the rest of my time is spent working from home.
I like working from home - I get a lot done. I enjoy the solitude and the getting my head down.
However, I also enjoy my days in the office. It’s pretty much the only time of the week I leave the house without a toddler in tow, and I get to converse with adults (mostly).
I especially like working in open plan offices - I like the social atmosphere. If you’re not having fun what’s the point, right?
That’s why I liked the Resulting office. The desks were arranged in a social, open plan style and we had fun.
It was conducive to a collaborative sharing atmosphere which when you’re in consulting and business enablement is important.
So when I went to the office two weeks ago and discovered the desks had been moved I was not happy. I visibly sulked.
Resulting are growing, which is great! But because of that we’re running out of space and had to rearrange the desks.
I hated it.
The office was immediately quieter - it changed the atmosphere.
Maybe other people picked up on it too though, because the fun atmosphere was back again this week. Yey!
The project begins
Yesterday, to replace our large desks and to squash a few more people in, some new smaller desks arrived. 12 smaller desks to replace 8 big ones.
This presented another challenge; the 12 desks arrived unassembled with the original 8 still in situ.
5 people remained in the office: 3 women, 2 men. (The boss had conveniently left for the pub!)
It’s the showing of a cohesive team when you all just assume a position and get whatever needs doing done.
We seamlessly split up and assumed various roles.
3 commenced building the new desks with what can only be described as inadequate tooling, whilst 2 of us lugged 8 heavy desks down 3 floors into a spare office. Admittedly, by desk 6 my arms were feeling it.
So how did the project go?
There may now be several dents in the corridor walls...
We did almost knock over a bank of lockers and the odd fire hydrant...
And, we definitely heard several large bangs from the guys building the new desks back in the office.
Hopefully the boss won’t look too closely at the office walls, but then again… he was in the pub.
Optimal project execution: dream or reality?
Optimal project execution on this would have been a team of tooled-up specialists building the desks and getting rid of the old ones.
(If they could have been diet-coke-esque guys 50% of the office would have been even happier!)
But as the projects managers out there will know, project executions are rarely that pretty or straight-forward.
There’s a lot of heavy lugging, working outside your skill-set, navigating through mazes of corridors, and dealing with insufficient tools and resources.
You have to motivate the team whatever the challenge. After all, when it’s deadline day and you’re a screw down with one desk to go, technical skill alone won’t save you.
It’s about being in the office on the front line and supporting people to get the job done.
I’ve worked in good teams before, and the best teams don’t whinge that it’s not their job or that they’re too busy doing eleventy billion other things to help.
They just work out the best strategy to meet their goal and get on with it. Good project management will help teams to do this more often than not.
As for the desk building… It was good fun, and I got paid to do a workout which was an unexpected bonus for the day.
Today, the team have the pleasure of building the rest of the desks, probably having sorted the tooling issue.
As for me, I may follow the bosses lead.
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