Views with a Room

Even in today's world of open plan offices, rooms are still quite important in business. For example, we have boardrooms, meeting rooms, trading rooms (which are actually very open plan) and data rooms. The names are fairly self-explanatory, although a data room is quite recent, as due diligence has become much more formal.

Less clear is the idea of "engine rooms" and "boiler rooms". Engine rooms (which, for example, provide the power for ships) are generally good things - they're a metaphor describing the source of energy and ideas, anything from the innovation unit of a business to the midfield of football team. On the other hand, boiler rooms (which are usually found in large buildings) have acquired a very specific and negative meaning. These are call centres which try to "hard sell" dubious investments to an unsuspecting public, and where people may also work in poor conditions - hence the term.

So it's important to be careful what we say - after all, no one wants to generate the wrong impression.


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