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What’s that SMELL????? Surviving lunch in the open office…  

How many change managers does it take to tell you your lunch stinks? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is none, because it’s not about your lunch or my lunch. It feels like a lecture about what other people do. My homemade fermented sauerkraut never smells.

Martha Clarkson at Microsoft recently shared some of their protocol videos with me. These videos upped my happiness score for a whole week! I asked Martha if the Microsoft GWS (Global Workplace Strategy) team would be willing to share their videos with others…and she said yes!

Here’s the one with the stinky lunch…

I couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to see some comedy. The performance reminded me how important it is to laugh about the awkward moments and the things we are afraid to address. It helps us cope and move forward. These mockumetries have the power to do just that.

And stay tuned because in the coming weeks I will post more videos from Microsoft GWS’s Workplace series and discuss their implications for the future of the workplace.

Gervais Tompkin
Gervais Tompkin chooses to be optimistic. He thrives on collaborations with others and is more likely to diagram it than talk about it. His practice as a leader of Gensler’s consulting practice allows him to work with interesting people on worthy problems globally. Contact him at gervais_tompkin@gensler.com.

Reader Comments (3)

This is hilarious! Advice on how to share this with the folks in our office who bring in "special" lunches is welcome.
07.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Evans
I love aged cheeses and spicy foods that smell great to me but make others want to vomit...I can't bring those into my workplace because it's not my home/personal space.

But perhaps feeling like you have no personal space in a densely-packed environment leads to a genuine lack of awareness of how your actions affect others, whether that's pungent leftovers, TMI phone conversations or group socializing next to others' desks. Or maybe it's rationalizing that the awkwardness of open offices empowers bad behavior? "Well, my need for personal space doesn't get any respect, so I'm going to do whatever I want...I gotta eat my lunch, right?."

I look forward to the next Bowl O' Octopus bubbling in our office microwave, though...

The humor of the video lets you share it without looking like a killjoy - but the message is pretty clear: you're in an open space that does not all belong to you...behave with courtesy.
07.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkek
loved the humor...would like to see other videos that their GWS have put together...
08.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Moore

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