Some people crave exposure to nature and the outdoors and will endeavour to brighten their world with sunshine whenever possible. Let’s call these people hippies. Others avoid the sun at all costs, shying away from its ultraviolet glare and seeking out darkness in every corner that it lurks. Let’s call these people vampires.
Those who are untrained in the delicate balance of the office ecosystem would assume that the best place for hippies is in the sunlight of a window seat, and the best place for vampires is in the darkness towards the centre of the building. This is certainly what each group would prefer, however if this arrangement were to occur the vampires would just sleep all day hanging upside-down in the exposed network cables running through the ceiling ducts, and the hippies would continually sing folk songs and stick flowers in their USB ports. Very little software development would happen.
Not surprisingly the opposite arrangement, with hippies in the darkness and vampires in the light, is equally disastrous. Without their friend the sun to guide them through the day, the hippies would wander blindly and disturb the mushroom plantations growing in the empty computer boxes. And of course, with regular exposure to sunlight the vampires would simply combust.
So management, in its increasingly evident wisdom, has decided to mingle these groups. Some vampires are forced to sit near the window, and are locked in constant conflict with the nature loving hippies over the state of the blinds. Some hippies, on the other hand, are forced to inhabit the gloom, providing the resident vampires with a free, if somewhat frightened and bewildered, snack.
Thus the ecosystem is maintained and productivity is at its peak. And as long as people are willing to clean up the small piles of ash and the shreds of bloodied tie-dyed clothing that inevitably appear, there will always be spare desks and room for new employees.