November 2017
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Signs You Should Worry: Work Environment

Work Environment Problems

It is absurd how often expensive consultants are squeezed into small spaces in an effort to save money. In a self-defeating attempt to recoup some of the expense, the external specialists are given the oldest furniture, the worst views and the noisiest work spaces. This is penny wise and pound foolish – and not just with outsiders.

Project budgets are closely watched, but this budget focus can sometimes take attention from the objective. IT projects face enough risks without the added burden of a poor working environment. Developers need to be able to focus to solve problems – and they usually face plenty. This means peace and quiet. Avoid making their work harder by putting them in large, cramped, noisy, open plan offices.

The problems with the environemtn generally break down into two categories:

Resources

  • Squeezing too many people into too small a space
  • Adding staff as the project grows, without providing more resources – for example, office space
  • Separating management and developers
  • Lack of resources – poor connections, old equipment, no meeting rooms, poor teleconferencing tools, etc.
  • Constantly changing the environment as the project progresses – either moving the team or constantly rearranging room assignments

Practices

  • Frequent interruptions
  • Too much noise
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor heating, ventilation, or air conditioning

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