The beautiful thing about this world is that everyone is different. Some people like straight espresso, while others prefer a caramel macchiato. Some like roses and others, daisies. There are a million decisions to be made each day, and every single one of them helps define who you are.
When it comes to the workplace, however, many people spend their day in an environment that’s just not them. You may like what you do, but if you’re not comfortable where you’re spending most of your daylight hours, then that’s a lot of time spent not being happy, right?
Here’s a good example. Jackie is an art director for a major magazine in New York. She has a plush office way in the back of the building where it’s nice and quiet for her to work. The problem is, Jackie hates being stuck way in the back. She’d really rather have a cubicle in the main art room, surrounded by the graphic artists and writers. She feeds off their energy, and loves being around the excitement of press day and deadlines. Her office is just way too ‘ho hum’ for her, and she actually gets less work done during the day because she’s always taking a break to head down to the art room for her energy fix.
On the opposite end is Susan. She has a cubicle on the main floor of her building. Her colleagues are always walking by her space to talk to her, and phones can always be heard ringing. Susan loves the quiet calm of the corporate library, and often goes back there to work. Having people dropping by her desk all day really distracts her, and she’d love to have an office far away from the center of activity so she could work alone.
Jackie and Susan represent the two opposite ends of a very large spectrum. A few minor adjustments and both of these women could be loving their jobs a whole lot more than they do right now.
If you’re a part of the workforce right now, or are thinking about going back, spend some time really looking at your personality. Do you like the noise and energy of a communal space, or do you prefer quiet? Do you love the freedom of being on the road making sales calls without someone peering over your shoulder, or do you want a steadier 9-5 routine? Do you need a window with a view, or do you find that too distracting?
Once you’ve figured out your ‘style’, how do you go about creating a space that’s perfect for you?
If you need to go from office to communal space or vice versa, try talking with your boss to see if she can accommodate you. Be honest about why you want to change locations, and make sure she knows you’ll work more effectively in the new space.