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Jolly well don't

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jobspot

In the typical architect's office, perks with any material value are rather sparse.

Star-name architects appear to assume that being able to say you work, or have worked, for them is a perk significant enough to allow a deduction of several thousand pounds from one's salary relative to the market rate.

And mileage expenses, which in other professions are generous enough to fund the tax-efficient purchase of new cars, are set in architecture at rates that punish rather than reward the car owner; thus, project managers drive BMWs and architects drive Micras.

One 'perk' which does survive among architects is the office jolly. The origins of the term are obscure and undoubtedly ironic; to link the ideas of jollity and an annual office outing was a stroke of genius.

The old jolly favourites - go-karting, clay pigeon shooting and paintballing - are dying out, which is a shame, because at least they allowed maximum aggression towards others with the minimum of communication, an ideal among office groups which cannot be matched by a guided walk around one of the Isokon flats followed by dinner at the new Ukrainian restaurant that's just opened in a converted public toilet in Elephant and Castle. (And the second prize is? ) Recently an urban wag, commenting on the campaign to save rural post offices, because 'they are the centre of the community', said that the campaigners had clearly got the post office confused with the pub. Employers who make their staff wear casuals and go on a day trip to the Duxford Air Museum rather than giving them the afternoon off are clearly labouring under a similar unfortunate misapprehension.

If it's team building you want, give everyone £50 on the first sunny afternoon in July and let them make their own entertainment.

Organised fun isn't.

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