As a manager of people (UX designers and front end developers in my case), where should I sit?
I am being literal here. Where should my desk be? Should I sit together with the other managers and heads of, or should I sit with the team?
I know this sounds petty but it is important.
This question was raised the other day and of course this other manager did not think that I should be sitting with the team. She is one of those managers that thinks that they are above mortal worker drones and should be aloof to the lower levels of creativity (you can probably guess that this attitude annoys me).
Of course it can be useful to sit as a group of managers. This is great of high level planning and epic thinking, but to be honest, that stuff does not take too long and most time is spent putting them into effect. This all happens “lower down the food chain” where the creatives and builders get to work making the dream come true.
This is where a manager should be seated. Not so that he or she can meddle and slow things down, but so that the manager can listen and be a part of the process. The manager can react to situations instantly, and work to clear blockages as and when they happen. In this way the manager has first hand knowledge of the issues and does not need to have it explained to them like a six year old.
If I sound frustrated… I am. I am so sick and tired of the bullshit attitude you get in the workplace from some people. The action is all happening on the floor and the manager is just there to clear the way. Plumbers! We clear blockages for the builders. We do dreamy stuff, but we also get our hands dirty and if you don’t, then you ain’t doing it right.
Anyway… In an agile and lean department, I vote for siting with the team and being a part of the process.
What do you think?