I find the different theories of optimal working space interesting. Efficiency optimization is one of the most important focuses of a “decision-making-dependable-manager, father-of-two, two-hour-commuter, life-puzzle practitioner”. There are a lot of research stating different optimal office solutions, such as open space and different hybrids. New solutions for a flexible work life grove rapidly, such as Tele-commuting, Skype, videoconference, mobile PBX etc. From my perspective it’s not relevant to find one optimal setting, even though it might feel comfortable to have one “home base desk” to hang your paper calendar…
Just as life – interaction with people (clients, colleagues, suppliers etc.) in business settings or in development projects are constantly changing. This is why I’m most comfortable and productive when I freely chose my workspace of the day. One day I might support with feedback in an engineering project and therefore I chose to spend the time in the workshop, helping out to build the next important prototype. Another day I might be working on a strategic product plan, and then I want to shut the door to a private room without distractions of phones or radio. The third day I might hold several project briefings, then I prefer to have my base at the office “project stand up table”, so that I can be fully available but still have a space between meetings for my daily stream of e-mails.
Why are many people still chained to their desks? I don’t think most CEOs or managers would deny you some alternative work locations with the right motivation. Instead I think the suggestion show that you are reflecting and acting on how you can provide the best value for your company. Foremost I believe people are scared to choose a different location then the regular one as their boss might get the impression they don’t work. Yet Facebook is more likely to be used from your regular desk, rather when choosing your own motivation boosting workspace.
Or, as right now I’m on parental leave. My work space while writing this is at the kitchen table, with a view of the porch, as my son is sleeping comfortably in the stroller.
For some further inspiration, have a look at these links:
http://mashable.com/2010/09/20/inspiring-offices-pics/ (10 Inspiring Non-Traditional Workspaces)
http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/04/setting-up-the-optimal-work-environment/ (Setting Up the Optimal Work Environment)
http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/29/best-buy-office-opinions-workspaces-daniel-pink.html (The Autonomous Work Space)