Brain Space

I’ve been working from home a little more lately. Driven in truth by a practical need.

But it’s working for me. Whereas, frankly, sitting in an office often doesn’t.

We all know the problems with the typical office environment. In almost every organisation I have ever worked the office space itself left much to be desired, in terms of light, air, colour or simply furniture.  They are too, just full of distractions.  The ‘can I have a minutes’, the day to day noise of people getting on with their work or not, those folk just dropping by while they are passing.  Necessary stuff, important relationship building type stuff. But distracting all the same.

But then there’s the air con wars. The which radio station debate.  Trying to get a meeting room. Trying to get a car parking space.  The bloody commute.  And exactly who’s turn is it to make the tea?

Much less useful distractions.

When it comes to where we do our best work, it’s all about what work we want to achieve. A day of transactional stuff, 121s, catching up, working through stuff with others….. for all that type of work face to face in the office is just fine.  A day where I need to think, to write, to coach, to create or to plan…. Somewhere, anywhere else if you please.

With an internet connection we are effective anywhere. The office, the kitchen table, the coffee shop.

As I write this, I am working from home. It’s lunchtime, so in a minute or two I’m going to head over and see what is in the fridge. I’m wearing my trackies and a Red Dwarf t-shirt.  No office dress today (don’t get me started on that).  No make-up either.  I did the one minute commute from bedroom to desk.  Music in the background.  And productivity wise I’m winning.  Inbox cleared by mid-morning. Now onto the value add.

Brain space. To think and to do.

This is that most elusive of things. An integration of work and life.  Not just balance but blending.   A luxury perhaps.  The preserve of the knowledge worker, quite possibly.  Something worth striving for, definitely.

But when it comes to work, what counts is what you do, not where you do it.

2 thoughts on “Brain Space

  1. I agree with the distractions, particularly if your office is open plan and there are a lot of people, actually I once had an office on the first floor of a converted Cumbrian farmhouse that not only had the Lakeland views, but also overlooked two fields with sheep in, whose antics used to distract me all the time!

    But I’m really not sure about working from home, you have to be extremely disciplined, so I am doubtful it is for everyone. There are just as many distractions at home, just recently I’ve heard more than a few people mention about phoning people who work at home, and having the call interrupted by pre-school children. Working from home shouldn’t be an excuse to cut child care bills because it will never work.

    As for me I know what works, even when I was at college, I’d book on a course at a nearer college with a large but underutilised resource centre, and did all my work there, with no distractions.

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