I’ve never worked in an office, but I can only imagine that they used to be terribly oppressive places. There are those water coolers, filled up with strange water from goodness-knows-where. Personally, I’d never drink anything unless I know exactly where it was sourced. Then there are the dress codes, which stifle the creative spirit and turn everyone into homogenous drones. Oh, and the music policy! I’ve never heard of anyone whipping out a banjo and cheering up their office with a rousing singalong, which my twitching fingers would be itching to do the whole time.
That said, offices seem to be transitioning into more friendly places. I have one friend, Amelie, and she works in an office. We all get together in the café and hear her horror stories of water cooler conversations and having to awkwardly scoot past someone in the corridor whilst not knowing if you should greet them. BUT…her office is getting a proper office fitout. A proper Melbourne office fitout, no less, and everyone had to go and work in a different building while the work is being done. In fact, they had to share an office space with a young, hip, trendy company that designs different kinds of mood bracelets, and apparently everyone in there wore whatever they liked and there was music. Music, in an office! Apparently it was Top 40 foolishness, but it’s still something.
Amelie’s boss really started to come around after day five, declaring that it would be ‘casual Friday’, every Friday, forevermore. Apparently they’re making some really positive changes during the office fitouts as well, turning it into a more casual, friendly space with squishy orange chairs and famous quotes on the walls. I’m told that’s how most commercial office fitouts work. On the downside, Amelie’s tales of being a creative soul in a square, drab world won’t be as exciting now. Still, we’ll be able to hear about the steady improvement, and perhaps even the introduction of workplace pets, and perhaps orca music to soothe the stress.