Our new office: quiet foods only please

Tuesday 9 October 2012, 10:20

Charles Miller Charles Miller edits the College of Journalism blog and produces documentaries for the BBC Money Programme. Twitter: @chblm

This is what the BBC Academy office looked like last week (on a fact-finding mission with, from left, Jacky Hems, David Hayward, Mia Costello and Nicki Defago):

Office empty

And this is what it looked like this morning:

Office full An awful lot of moving had happened over the weekend, masterminded by the unflappable Rob Smith.

The result is that where we used to work now looks like it has been done over by a particularly aggressive spy organisation searching unsuccessfully for a vital clue to save the world from certain destruction:

Old office

The move went so smoothly that by 10 o'clock on the first morning I felt like I'd always been here, gazing at the London traffic in the rain:

Lovely view

More interesting, for a moment at least, is the view inside the building, where you can enjoy feeling you are part of The Thick of It:

New office

My only quibbles are to do with food and drink.

I was impressed to find a better class of coffee machine than I'd ever come across at the BBC - with real coffee beans. But it turns out it's not for everyone: post-production staff only. Do editors really need more caffeine than the rest of us?

Coffee machine

Finally, there's the new food policy, as explained in 'welcome' leaflets on our desks:

"Be aware that smelly foods and 'noisy to eat' foods may cause distraction."

I thoughtfully held back on the lettuce in my lunchtime salad, although I did sneak in a few anti-social croutons. I knew there wouldn't be a problem with sticky toffee pudding and custard.

But when I got back to my new desk I found myself opposite a man I've never seen (that's hot-desking for you) brazenly crunching his way through a packet of McCoys Flame Grilled Steak Crisps.

I would have said something but it might have violated another rule in the welcome leaflet:

"Move away from your desk if your conversation turns into a meeting."

I finished my pudding quietly.

Comments

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 2.

    Charles, my sympathies - I really can't stand open plan offices and the concept of hot-desking irks me no end - I need my well-defined personal space! Sigh... at least your staircase with the wooden panels look nice.

    @Pratish - sit with a tazer next to your desk and glare threateningly at everyone who raises their voice near your cubicle ;) Your link doesn't work by the way, think it's http://newsview.co.za/bbc-vs-sabc/ without the ')' at the end.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    Thanks for the interesting link re SABC, Pratish. And thanks to you and Michelle both for your open-plan solidarity. I managed to restrain my complaints about having the radio playing through speakers in the ceilings of the lifts here (until now). Why doesn't the building think it should be as quiet as it expects us to be??

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1.

    Lol... I always had a feeling about them croutons... antisocial critters. Still haven't gotten used to the etiquette around open plan offices (am back from the days when managers each got their own offices!)... most people still seem to ignore the obvious 'rules' though - especially when it comes to speaking loudly next to other people's desks. Funny enough, I just came across an article on NewsView (http://newsview.co.za/bbc-vs-sabc/) comparing the BBC with the local South African broadcaster SABC. Perhaps if they read the BBC 'welcome' leaflets they might not have been as critical of local operations!

 
 

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