Did they do without the water cooler?
I suppose a lot of us are doing IT for non-problem-solving/non-creative industries. I would presume that, where people are really working their noggin and have intellectual interest in their work, the water cooler becomes a productive place. Simply describing a problem to someone else tends to stimulate a breakthrough, and taking conscoius thought away from a complex roadblock clears mental blind-spots and increases the chance of intuitive solutions. A shrewd boss would put a marker-board next to the cooler. I think this is what the article was getting at. That and its worth considering the opportunity cost of.starting a fijt with your workers against actual productivity gained by muzzling them.
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