Workspaces

Where we work has a profound impact on how we work. Some people are very tied to their offices and spend most of their jobs in front of a desk. Others have no home base and spend their time moving through the halls of a hospital or even around the state or region.

As with most things, there are pros and cons to any workspace and the key is, as always, balance. People who move around a lot avoid lethargy and get to interact with a wide variety of people throughout the day. People who spend a lot of time in one main space have the advantage of routine and get to build stronger relationships with the people they see every day.

The type of space we work in can also have a surprising impact on how we work. I work in an old house that has been converted to office space. Despite the conversion, some have remarked that the workspace’s history means that its inhabitants interact more as family than coworkers at times. Much like a traditional house, the kitchen in our office is the main gathering space. The dining room, that has been converted to a conference room, is where we gather to share our goals and progress at staff meetings much like a family might have years ago at a Sunday dinner.

A colleague of mine works in a large, open work space where all employees sit at tables without partitions regardless of their rank within the company. The idea behind this set up is that it allows for more feedback between people in various positions. This situation has its pros and cons and it also affects the way people work. Privacy is limited so employees need to be conscientious about the way they conduct meetings and phone calls and, for better or worse, there are far fewer secrets among coworkers. It also means there are limited places for people to step away from a conflict or take a breather so sometimes situations can escalate more than they might otherwise.

How does where you work shape the way you do your job?

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