Where Is Your Office?
Rodney, are you in your office?
Where? I don’t see you.
Office? What office? Do you have an office? If you are like most IT workers you have a desk and a phone and three cubicle walls that do nothing to block the sound of your coworkers. But, we still call it an office. We talk about our “office phone” as opposed to our cell phone. We tell people when we’ll be “out of the office.” We engage in “office gossip,” or “office politics.”
I have three offices, and yet only one of them qualifies. I recently wrote about my tiny (I mean, doll-house size) home office. In addition I have two cubicles that qualify as my “work office.” They are pretty much interchangable. I have a desk phone, a docking station for my laptop and two monitors. Their location is different, of course. One is in our executive office building. That’s where my manager and the other members of my direct team are located. My second “office” is in our production building where my agents and most of my virtual team is located.
I recently read an article decrying the evils of the “open office. (Washington Post article here.)
It got me thinking about how I work and when I’m effective. I have severe ADHD. I didn’t realize it until I was an adult. (High school makes so much more sense now.) My office location has a direct impact on my effectiveness. At one point, we did a reshuffle and my cubicle ended up in the middle of the cube-farm. I was directly under the ceiling mounted TV and in one of the main shipping lanes for trips to the printer or the manager offices. It didn’t work. It’s my own fault. But, even with noise cancelling headphones and blinders, there were just too many distractions.
I moved to a cubicle in a corner, far away from the TV and out of all shipping lanes. The difference was like night and day. You would think that would mean that working from home is equally effective. Yeah, you’d think that. I work from home on Tuesdays. But, I also have 7 high school kids living at home. My lovely wife manages the schedule for most of them. But, it seems every day there’s at least one of them at home. Ah well, they’ll be gone soon enough and I can always shut my door.
Cube-farms don’t have that option, sadly.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved