This is not my office. This is the co-working space, The Network Hub, in Vancouver that I rented during my working-holiday in October. More on it later.
My actual office in Yellowknife is grey. Grey walls, grey carpet and no windows.
It’s a funny thing about offices. When I lived and did business in Vancouver, I rented from Workspace and I was In.Love.With.It. Most interesting thing about it? It wasn’t an office. We all rented… well.. space! There were simple tables we could use, and four small rooms if we needed to meet for an hour, and a coffee bar. But mostly, we rented space. You can get a bit of a sense of it here:
or on a busy day (Barcamp. Go look it up if you don’t know what that is. It’s worth knowing!)
Having an office per se soon became meaningless to me. It was far outweighed by the sense of zen and spaciousness and the way in which the open-ness invited collaboration. Offices were a thing of the past to me.
So when I moved up to my new job in Yellowknife and there wasn’t office space available at the time, I didn’t blink an eye. I attempted to continue with my paper-free lifestyle and a clutter-free desk. Except – People.Kept.Asking if Didn’t I have any work? and over time I began to re-associate an office with status. And worry that folks would perceive me as low on the totem pole (a silly construct I’d happily let go of just months earlier!) since I was sans bureau.
Now I have an office. And I hate to admit it, but I think my nose would be out of joint if for any reason I had to give it up. Or move to a cubicle (a fate worse than hell). Even if it is an office, it’s *my* office, grey walls and all.
Do I do better work than I would in a cubicle? I imagine not. But I would feel less a valued part of the team and more a drone without it. And that could well lead to a lower quality of work.
My point is this: our work-spaces inform so very much more than you’d think, don’t they?
Readers – care to share what your work space is like? Do you like it? Does it contribute to working effectively? Does it lead to collaboration or isolation? To what extent is it a status symbol?
And if you are traveling to Vancouver and want a place to try out co-working, I recommend The Network Hub pictured at the top of this post. Lovely, is it not? Oodles of character. The rates are crazy-reasonable and the service is friendly. And if you see my pal Raul, please give him a Hi from Nancy.