A game development company seems like an ideal testbed for experimenting with new or uncommon models for work environments. I'm curious if there's anyone out there successfully doing something creative with their methods of doing creative work, and how it's working out.
This is a community wiki since there won't be an objective answer to the question:
What are some unconventional but effective methods of running a game development office? In your experience, what works well and what doesn't?
I'm mostly talking about the culture and business side of things, and not so much about things like pair programming, test-driven development, scrum, waterfall, etc. In other words: I don't mean development methodologies. I mean development environments. They're closely related in many cases, but please don't turn this into an evangelism platform for scrum or TDD or whatever your favorite happens to be.
Do you have strict hours and fire people who are late? Do you have "core hours", like 10pm to 4pm, that gives people a few hours of flexibility? Or do you just show up when you want for as long as you want?
Does forcing people to work overtime actually work? What about forbidding overtime? Weekends? Do you give people free time to work on whatever they want during business hours?
Do you allow telecommuting (e.g. VPN from home)? Clearly this will be a big issue for people who outsource a lot. And people who subcontract or work on large projects have limited options.
If your hours are not strict, how do you handle meetings, conference calls, or emergency emails?
Some examples of what I'm talking about: