The trouble with technology experts, or geeks as they’re affectionately known, are the terrible myths. 

The cliché in popular culture paints the picture of a basement dwelling, fantasy role-playing geek with a pocket-protector and awkward social skills.

Of course, there’s nothing strictly wrong with pocket protectors, but  technology services manager  for Coca-Cola Ashley Robson also knows there’s more to geeks than meets the eye. 

So he came up with an innovative a way of making his team more approachable and accessible to anyone in the company.

“We wanted to make IT a bit more personal, and make it a bit more forthcoming and open to users,” Ashley said. “In the past, its been seen that IT might not be approachable for personal things.”

Inspired by leading tech companies that offer in-store advice, Ashley developed a pop-up ‘Happiness Bar’ in the office to help staff members sort through their gadget issues before the summer holidays.

Staff were encouraged to ask the gizmo-pros for advice on anything that came to mind, like how to display their photos at home, which tablet to buy, or which internet service provider was best for them.

One of the most common problems people had was with setting up a home network - an area that even the more advanced user can struggle in. “These aren’t just appliances that you plug in and they just work – they can be really frustrating to set up,” said Ashley. “Once it works smoothly, everyone will love it.”

Many of the questions asked by staff were second nature for Ashley, who admits to living and breathing tech. “At home Im into tech as well,” he admitted. “Im into gaming and audiovisual stuff, like TVs, projectors and home theatre equipment. Its pretty much everything that I do!”

For his part, Ashely believes the Happiness Bar initiative was a success. In a totally un-scientific poll - checking out his friends and colleagues’ social media posts - he reckons a lot of people took his team’s advice over the holiday.

Even after the event’s conclusion, the Happiness Bar has continued to receive requests. But those in the office who missed out on the free advice last time round needn’t worry: the Happiness Bar will be back again this year.