Blog entries tagged with "work"

Boxes for bicycles

Friday, April 20th, 2007 at 7:21 pm

After well over a year of talk it looks like one of the final aspects of the renovation is nearing completion as I spotted the following from my window at work:

A truck with metal boxes

That is a truck reversing into the carpark under the building with what looked like six storage lockers, each holding two bicycles.

Later, when I was down in the carpark it looked like:

Bicycle storage in place

Which is storage for eight bicycles. One of which looks like:

The bicycle goes here

Sometime soon allocations should be made and keys distributed.

What about charging my lights? There is a power point located on the ceiling near the lockers so I may just get a locker near it and run a lead down. Another option is to get new batteries that are more convenient to remove from my bicycle and charge them at my desk.

Also, it is interesting to see that they chose this type of storage, not a shared cage as recommended by Bicycle Victoria in their Bicycle Parking Handbook.

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We should be thankful

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Fourteen months ago we moved into the renovated open plan area. Since that time there has been a general dissatisfaction with the environment.

We should be thankful.

Today we used one of the meeting rooms upstairs which allowed us to see the newly renovated area, which people are moving into later this week. As the area was just offices (no server room like our area had) there was no significant change to the layout, a couple of walls were moved, some paint, new carpet and new desks.

In our area most desks have a blue 1.5 metre partition on one side (supposedly made of acoustic material) and a dark gray short ‘wave’ along the other side (made of hard laminate). These can be seen on my desk except that my desk is not typical due to the window:

My new desk

What we saw upstairs was disturbing. All of the partitions are made of a hard laminate and the majority of the desks in the space (slightly smaller than ours and in an L shape) have the low ‘wave’ types. This means that there will be zero privacy. However this is not the worst. Down one end of the space the partitions are 1.8 metres high and are intended for people who are on the phone all day, they are sitting in an echo chamber.

While our space is not the best we now know that we have the lesser of two evils.

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The power of burnt toast

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006 at 8:58 pm

At work this afternoon we had a real evacuation involving alarms, leaving the building and attendance by the fire brigade. Fortunately for us it wasn’t raining during half hour interruption but unfortunately for Monash an alarm set off by burnt toast is classified as a false alarm which is charged for.

On a side note I wonder if the false alarm could have been prevented from escalating if the building didn’t contain two separate fire systems, one of which wasn’t completely installed (the red phone at the panel in the foyer doesn’t have a counterpart and is only for a quarter of the building anyway so who knows what else is missing) during our renovations…

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The others are here

Monday, January 16th, 2006 at 6:04 pm

As I mentioned on Friday, the others have arrived. Today was very disruptive as the boxes were first brought in (by the removalists) and then unpacked. It was pretty much all done by lunchtime at which point the small round table in the kitchen simply could not cope…

Also since it will also be a week or so until furniture arrives for the photocopier and meeting rooms we will still have to deal with the random assortment of junk in and out of boxes that is currently our stationery area…

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The others are coming

Friday, January 13th, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Since the last change in the office dynamic (I am not counting the most recent arrivals as they moved into the far side of the open plan area) it has pretty much settled down and everyone is getting along. I suspect this may be because people are starting to take greater advantage of headphones and music, I know I am…

However on Monday the remainder of the people who we shared a basement floor on campus with many many months ago will be moving across on Monday. While we will outnumber them three to one in the open plan area I predict that they will be, at least at first, much more distuptive as they get the desks in the middle. ie there is no buffer and one of the two paths from my desk to anything else is through their area. That said I am being optimistic by thinking that the disruption will only last a couple of days until our routines are integrated.

Now although it won’t affect those of us in the open plan area much I suspect that those people in the smaller open plan area (three people in five desks) and the offices at the front will be in for a much bumpier ride. Why? Because the renovations are slightly incomplete (in the grand scheme it is only little things like the desks being assembled and partitions put up…) and unless it is done over the weekend (highly unlikely) it will get done while they are trying to work…

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Renovations are nearing completion

Monday, December 19th, 2005 at 10:17 pm

Sometime between last Thursday and today (I took Friday off) it appears that the painters were in at the office and their job is almost complete excepts for some little patch jobs. This morning the comms guys were in to finish patching in the remainder of the network and phone points and throughout the day there were a couple of guys preparing the floor and laying down the new carpet tiles. When I left there was even someone installing the new video intercom outside the front door…

The only major work that there appears left to do is for the desks to be setup and that could be done well in advance of the 16th of January which is when the last lot of people move across. At that stage we will see how well open plan really works…

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Second stage of construction begins…

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 at 6:10 pm

Following our move last friday and the removal of our old furniture on Monday the demolition has commenced. So far they have ripped up the remainder of the old carpet, removed old power and network points, and started pulling apart what was the old board room which had a movable wall.

It was interesting (yes, I also find it strange what I find interesting) to see an old serving portal exposed once they removed a shelving unit from inside a cupboard. It appears that on one side they build the shelved and on the other they simply layed a sheet of plasterboard…

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Hopefully the last move…

Friday, November 25th, 2005 at 7:39 pm

This afternoon we moved from our desks of the past eight weeks out to the new and improved™ open plan environment.

Technically we were only supposed to finish packing all of our stuff into boxes so the removalists can move them the fifteen metres on Monday morning. We would then spend between half and all of Monday unpacking at our new desks. However as the final clean of our new desks was done by mid afternoon I started a trend of simply carrying my own stuff out to my new desk and setting it up. We avoided one occupational health and safety issue by using the drawer pedestals as trolleys instead of just carrying them.

Now it will be possible to do some work when I come in on Monday instead of wasting the whole day doing what took three hours… The removalists are still coming in at 7AM on Monday as almost all of the furniture we were using is being tranferred to another department.

And here it is… my new desk:

My new desk

And a closeup of my protest against the low positioning of the power outlets:

My protest against the low positioning of the power outlets

More photos from today are available.

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Requirements are always the key

Thursday, November 10th, 2005 at 7:52 pm

One positive aspect of the renovations that are underway at work is that it is a practical example of the problems that incomplete requirement elicitation can cause.

<disclaimer>be warned, the following is a rant</disclaimer>

The architect who designed the new floor plan was given an initial brief and it seems to have been something like: “x offices for these people, a large meeting room, some other meeting rooms, and as many people in open plan as possible”. This is obviously a very cynical view…

A set of requirements such as that is probably going to be ok for those who are getting offices but for the rest of us (the majority) it pretty much sucks… Irrespective of our job function and required resources we have all been allocated identical work areas:

  • A 1800mm x 2000mm corner desk
  • A single drawer unit (two small drawers and one filing drawer)
  • Maybe some shelves that attach to the screens that two thirds of us have against our desks.

For a number of people this will be adquate. But what about the people that we think should have offices but policy dictates they don’t? At the upper end are a couple of people with three drawer filing cabinets full of work, shelves full of stuff and in one case a free standing electronic whiteboard.

My requirements are more modest but still exceeds our allocation as I will require around two metres of shelf space for my books, folders, etc. This means that I will have to put up with part of my view (I’m lucky enough to be by a window) cut off by a screen so shelves can be attached to it…

And that is just the desks. What about:

  • Zero whiteboards (which may not be so bad as it should force people to go to one of the two (only) breakout rooms for discussions)
  • Zero coat space. Are we expected to hang them on the back of our chairs? Isn’t that unprofessional? Considering the fuss the architect made about all new desks and chairs so the colours would match…
  • No consideration for bicycles. There will be a minimum of five bicycles every day. Maybe up to a dozen…
  • A smaller kitchen. It currently maxes out at eight. How will it handle fifty when it is reduced in size?

I know it is futile but what if this had all been taken into account…

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The construction is over?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005 at 6:54 pm

When I left work today someone could be mistaken to think that the construction is nearly complete as all of the walls and windows (internal) have been installed and the builders even took away all the rubbish from the open plan area…

However I wonder if they are even halfway through as there would be at least the following jobs left to do:

  • networking and phones (over fifty people and each person has a phone and two network points)
  • power and lighting (some of the lights in the suspended ceiling have been reconfigured but most haven’t and the switches need to be put in walls instead of hanging down…)
  • plastering (there are a couple of places where the joins between plaster sheets needs to be filled)
  • painting (we are all looking forward to the white, beige, light blue, darker blue and bright orange colour scheme)
  • carpeting (how long does it take to glue down carpet tiles?)
  • installation of the cubicles (then these need to be wired for power and comms)

Only five weeks to do all that? Maybe…

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Demolition is quick… Will construction be also?

Monday, October 10th, 2005 at 7:39 pm

It is now after the second working day since we moved offices and all the walls of where we were are gone and they have even started framing up one of the new walls. It will be interesting to see how fast the construction will progress…

I am planning to take a large number of photos every night (really late afternoon as I have been getting to work early for the past few weeks) in order to document the process…

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