NAO office building in London
For anyone who’s not been here before, the NAO’s London office in Victoria is a grand building in the art deco style, with a clock tower, a flagpole and even its own statue. It was built in 1938, for Imperial Airways as their “Empire Terminal”, would you believe?

Inside the building, large open plan offices dominate the scene, with desks set out in long rows straddling the building. A central walkway runs the length of each floor. There are two kitchen areas on each level, equipped with sinks, fridges and drinking water taps (hot and cold). I didn’t know whether to be happy or not when I discovered that my own new kitchen was very similar to the ones in the office! The larger kitchens have tables and chairs so as well as being social spaces and somewhere to eat lunch (or breakfast) they are also used for meetings. While making my tea I often overhear snippets of conversation about weekend plans and X Factor on one side and audit visits and budgets on the other.

The office is open plan and based on hot desking. This means that staff don’t have their own desks, instead they book a desk when they are in the office. We have a clear desk policy so each morning begins with a visit to our lockers, where we keep our laptops, stationery and papers overnight.

Sometimes when everyone is engrossed in their work, all I can hear is the trains pulling into Victoria and the rattle of computer keyboards. More than once I’ve used the office’s instant messaging system to talk to a nearby colleague rather than disturb the peace by asking them what time they’re going for lunch! It’s not always quiet though: often there are rich opportunities for learning (and entertainment) by joining in the more informal conversations.

In my team there is a tradition of bringing edible treats on birthdays and after holidays or trips away, or just because it’s Friday. Great for morale, not so good for the waistline. We’re very handy for Victoria station and Sloane Square, and Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace are within walking distance. In short, of all the places where I could have worked, this ranks pretty highly!

For me, the work environment is important for my enjoyment of the job. What do other people think? Have you been for an interview and been impressed or put off by the surroundings? I’d love to read your comments!

Any questions? Join our Twitter Q&A on 18 November 2013

Have you got any questions around applying for our graduate scheme?

Rob from our recruitment team and Hannah, one of our trainee bloggers, will be available on Monday, 18 November 2013, from 4-5pm on Twitter (@naograduatejobs). Post your questions during the event and get an answer straight away.

If you cannot make the event, please tweet us beforehand @naograduatejobs and we will make sure to answer your questions during the live session.

Hashtag: #AskNAOgrads

Comments are closed.