Dutch IT news website Tweakers.net asked its community what the ideal workplace should look like. The results didn’t surprise us. Fast computers, plenty of screen real estate, good coffee and great colleagues are just a few of the things that we consider the bare essentials for a day at the office. In fact, when asked what employers they’d expect to check these boxes, we ranked number 2 – just below Google… We blame it on our lack of slides in the office. Read on for a look at what office life at Coolblue is like!
Dedicated team rooms
In terms of productivity, nothing beats getting into the flow. That moment when you lose track of time or a sense of what’s going on around you, and it’s almost as if the code writes itself. Unfortunately, a lot of office environments aren’t really suitable places to get into that state of flow. This is especially the case with open floor plans, which don’t lend themselves for work that requires both concentration and focus, as well as frequent collaboration and discussions.
For that very reason, all of our development teams have dedicated team rooms. With six people in the room, it’s easy to have both meaningful discussions as well as crunch time, where everybody can focus on their work. Another big upside is that it aides in team jelling. The room provides a space to call their own, to build a team identity with various “decorations” in the rooms and of course lots of windows to draw on to visualise ideas.
The Dutch in general, and arguably developers in particular love their caffeine. Whether to kick off the day or as fuel for a late hacking session, coffee is an integral part of office life. One should also not underestimate the coffee machine itself: it plays a vital role as a social catalyst, sparking conversations on last night’s match just as easily as a discussion on API design, all while waiting for that fresh brew.
So with coffee being such an important part of our daily lives, why then would we settle for subpar quality? Exactly. We shouldn’t. That’s why we serve great, freshly brewed coffee. It might take a little longer, but not having to suffer through a stomach-upsetting, bitter goo is worth it.
Fast internet – choose your own device
But in other cases, you really shouldn’t have to. Like when pulling in the latest changes from GitHub, spinning up a new Vagrant box or running unit tests on your local machine. These can be easily resolved by installing a decent fiber connection – a fat pipe, in industry jargon – and replacing that 7 year old brick you lug around the office with a brand spanking new MacBook Pro with all the bells and whistles. Or whatever machine you prefer really; we let our developers choose their own device.
It makes sense when you think about it. Why wouldn’t we give them the best tools available? We’re putting so much effort in finding the best developers to help us build great software, why would we then hold them back by making them use inferior tools? Seems like a no-brainer.
Likewise, screen real-estate has been shown to be a factor in productivity. So why not have two screens? Or three? Like with the device you choose to use, we’re flexible when it comes to the work area. Whether it’s the number of screens, or the desk itself. Prefer working standing up? We’ve got you covered.
Want to see more of our office? Sign up for a Behind the Scenes event and we’ll show you around!