Life at BHP: it's a soup opera

The Australian Financial Review reports instructions for "nibble food" consumption and the display of work-related awards feature among "a bewildering array of dos and don'ts for 3,000 BHP Billiton office workers who are moving into the miner's new Perth headquarters.

The paper writes the guidelines "have been dubbed draconian by experts but will come as no surprise to employees familiar with BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers’ zero tolerance approach to messy workstations":

Cold soup can be freely enjoyed in communal hubs on each floor, but hot soup is only permitted on the “top deck”, an area devoted to eating and socialising on level 45 with sweeping views of the city and beyond.

While gum, throat lozenges and lollies can be consumed at desks, the privilege does not extend to “chocolate, fruit, nuts and other nibble food”.

No plants can be brought in from home to avoid “unintended plant ­diseases or create maintenance issues” and although flowers can be kept for a “short period”, the company will not be supplying vases.

Each staff member is allowed to have a single photo frame of A5 size on their desk permanently or, in lieu of a photograph, a framed work-­related award of similar dimensions.

On the matter of photo frames, digital versions are allowed so long as they are A5, that is 148mm x 210mm, or smaller.

The photo issue comes into play if you are lucky enough to win a framed award. Employees are allowed to have the award on display during the day, but each evening “the clear desk policy will apply”. The way around this is if the award is “A5 or less in size”. This means you “may choose to have this as your photo frame that can be left out over night”.

Continue reading at The Australian Financial Review.