Workplaces and colleagues

Anthony Laughton with others on Royal Research Ship Discovery II, 1960s
Anthony Laughton with others on Royal Research Ship Discovery II, 1960s

Scientists and engineers found themselves working in many different workplace environments and with a diverse range of colleagues. Not all of these facilities were purpose built and the different characteristics of a former wartime airfield, a converted country house or a city centre location could have a significant impact on the working environment and on the relationships within it. Most scientists recall their former workplaces and colleagues with affection and paint a picture of them as fostering creativity, excitement and fun. For many the working environment was recalled as relaxed and informal, with coffee time a central part of the day and one during which much productive work was carried out through informal exchanges. Working long hours was not uncommon, and led to a blurring of work and social lifewhich is often remembered as a positive experience. There is also a sense of nostalgia for the more relaxed atmosphere of the past compared to more recent experiences in organisations that have grown considerably in size and become more bureaucratic.

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