Having an office is great, if anything, it is the most tangible symbol that I am a successful, gainfully employed adult. There are pictures, graphs, printouts, and ND gear pinned to the walls of my grey cubicle. I’ve moved snacks, chapstick, hand lotion, and even a blanket into my own 5 square feet of space. But is it really necessary to sit here for 40+ hours a week?
The way that modern technology functions allows us to work anywhere, anytime, for better or worse. We are constantly accessible. Plugged in via our cell phones 24/7. Why then is it that so many companies still adhere to the (in my opinion) outdated “cubicle” model? You’ve given me a smart phone, and a laptop. Let me leverage this technology and work where I want whenever you need me.
Granted I wouldn’t be able to hang cool decorations in my cube. But I would be much more efficient, and I think much happier. My time would be my own. Perhaps its the apparent overwhelming laziness of people that prevents this from being a feasible model. But wouldn’t it rapidly become evident which employees were making their deadlines and meeting their commitments?
Maybe its that corporations don’t trust that high quality work will get done if you aren’t penned in under their roof. But what does this say about corporate culture? People can’t be held accountable to take pride in their work? To deliver results when not being micromanaged.
I’m not advocating that we do away with office space all together, rather why not adopt a more free flowing office space. Model an office after the collegiate library. (I know, I’m biased, I love libraries.) Open work spaces for people to come and go as needed. Let adults coordinate meetings with one another, and encourage collaboration via electronic tools. Nothing replaces a face to face conversation, but the work place is already becoming so global, in some regards it seems futile to try to get all conversations face to face.
For better or worse, the world is changing. The workplace should too, right?