Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where does your seat sit?

At work today, we had a bit of a chat about our physical work environment. Currently we've got an open plan setup happening, everyone faces into their corner of the workspace, and we've got space for a whiteboard. One of the issues with the current setup is that pair programming and code reviewing is a bit hard - trying to fit 2 people into a corner doesn't really work very well, and we want to start doing more code reviews to up the quality of our work.

I know that some people are big advocates of the 'everyone get's an office' idea, and have been reading Joel Spolsky's blog - particularly about office space. I think it'd be great to have my own office, but we don't really have the space, so we're trying to think about how we can work better in the space that we've got.

One idea is to have a large table that we all work at in the middle of the area, with whiteboards around the outside so we can draw and discuss ideas. Another possibility is to all work around the edge of the area, facing the wall, but not have anyone sitting in the corners - which will help with pairing and collaboration. A space would be reserved for a whiteboard, and we could wheel in another whiteboard in and out when we needed.

Anyway, hopefully over the next couple of months we can figure out a way to work better together, which may include a redesign of our physical work environment.

How do you work best with your team? Do you sit near each other? How does working remotely affect your collaboration?

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