Joel of Joel on Software recently posted a good article on managing programmers in software companies. I liked this paragraph:
A programmer is most productive with a quiet private office, a great computer, unlimited beverages, an ambient temperature between 68 and 72 degrees (F), no glare on the screen, a chair that’s so comfortable you don’t feel it, an administrator that brings them their mail and orders manuals and books, a system administrator who makes the Internet as available as oxygen, a tester to find the bugs they just can’t see, a graphic designer to make their screens beautiful, a team of marketing people to make the masses want their products, a team of sales people to make sure the masses can get these products, some patient tech support saints who help customers get the product working and help the programmers understand what problems are generating the tech support calls, and about a dozen other support and administrative functions which, in a typical company, add up to about 80% of the payroll. It is not a coincidence that the Roman army had a ratio of four servants for every soldier. This was not decadence. Modern armies probably run 7:1.
Â I have found that I am far more productive at home than in a cube. At home I have a private office, free drinks, a good computer (not great), two large screens, a perfect temperature, a good chair, and can listen to music out loud.
Programming is an exercise of the mind. The less you have to worry about your body the better your mind functions.