Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To the batcave! - on work environments.

Working in an office with no walls isn't so bad. Unless you want to hear yourself think. I'm not sure what it is about 'open-plan' but somewhere along the way , someone decided it would be grand idea to jam as many people as is humanly possible into a barn-like space and snigger at them from the hermetically sealed comfort of their corner office. Actually where I work isn't so bad. At least I have a wall I can stare at when the relentlessly picturesque view of the viaduct harbour gets me down. And, in truth there are no corner offices we are all in the same boat, or barn or whichever metaphor you prefer to describe the battery takes your fancy.

Unfortunately we don't have wireless in the office (I don't know why not, but that is how it is) so I can't annex the deck outside. In any case the bright sunshine would make viewing the laptop screen more difficult than it is worth.

My real issue is that I am so easily distracted by the conversations of others that I can hardly hear myself think. Even with my back to the room I can home in on particular people's voices and their (sometimes) inane chatter.

I guess my preferred environment is to be cocooned in a low light cave, surrounded by books and interesting stuff. I like to socialise as a matter of choice and on purpose, and I need quiet space to think sometimes. Oh, and I'm not a big fan of desks. I'd rather have a chair or a couch (couch better), stretch out my legs, lap-top resting on same. Probably explains why I had no time for the Aeron chair that I admired until I had to sit in it. It had all the comfort and charm of some sort of bondage implement - which I suppose it is. It didn't last long - foisted it on to a friend who is a designer and so, naturally, was easily seduced by the term modern design classic. Whn I see Aeron chairs deployed now I have to confess I pass a silent, mildly derogatory judgement on th sitter. But each to their own.

Office environments make a difference. I am not really complaining about mine, I am grateful not to be locked for eight to 12 hours a day in some dark, satanic mill making eyelets for sneakers. But I wonder if there is a correlation between the kind of space and the nature of the output.

What's yours like?

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