Where and how I live has always been extremely
important to me. One's home is an ever evolving
reflection of where our heads and hearts are at
any moment. Yet in truth the majority of our
days are spent anyplace but home. Meaning that
we pass our time on someone else's turf in what
is basically a borrowed space. Be it a desk, cube,
office, or executive suite - most limit the amount
of personal items to a minimum. Having a few
framed photos, a drawer of miscellaneous stuff,
and maybe a plant. All ready to be grabbed in
the event that a sudden departure is required.
After all, you never know what might happen!
Share and share alike
The current trend in office design is to be as open
as possible. However sitting within a sea of sleek
tables may hamper one's chance to make a mark.
Many new workspaces are designed to be flexible.
Meaning nobody sits in an assigned space. Rather
day by day one goes with the flow perching upon
whatever seat is available at one's point of entry.
Somehow the idea of working in such a transient
manner unnerves my sense of security. A creature
of habit - I want to sit in my own space on a daily
basis. And get to know my neighbors given most
of my day is spent with them - NOT Frank. Is it
wrong to want to feel at home while at the office?
Recently our company moved into amazing
new offices. Perched high above the garment
district our full floor affords us 360 views of
Manhattan. Leading us to implement a new
approach in designing our space. However
possible we decided to let the light in. Any
office lining the outer perimeter is in essence
a glass box. Within the remaining space we
kept things to a minimum. We even lowered
our standards (height that is) to insure every
employee could broaden their horizons. The
result is a bight, open, free, and easy work
environment. We must have nothing to hide!
Behind closed doors
This isn't my first time at the open office rodeo.
Twenty years ago my team and I sat out in the
wide open in the Chicago suburbs. While I've
no doubt said environment stimulated creativity
and communication, it wasn't the best place to
suffer through a messy divorce. Thus while it
may be fashionable, the open office trend blurs
the line between church and state - work and
life balance. Which must be the reason why
most honchos still prefer to be isolated in their
own domain. Often not only beyond cushy but
also quite private. Thus an appropriate home
to house and hone one's competitive edge.
Like most trends this soon shall pass. Mostly
because (at least in my opinion) sitting out in
the open isn't the best way to get a job done.
Depending on what one does it's important
to focus on the task at hand. Working amidst
an ever changing environment can be most
distracting. While multi-tasking may be chic
it's not necessarily productive. Thus while
I'm trying to maintain an open mind I still
struggle. Mostly with the fact that our time
is temporal within most work environments.
Thus I'll continue to make myself at home
in my office for as long as they let me.