Office Environments We Despise
Corporate Office Persona
White walls that lead up to white poc-marked ceiling tiles with flickering fluorescent lights. Waist high, grey cubicles as far as the eye can see. Glass front offices that are more like aquariums than places where deep thought and stimulating conversations go on. An environment, so filtered and unstimulating, that the only message it sends is that you are just a worker bee – nothing else.
Offices owned by larger corporations and located in larger, older buildings generally regulate their climate with a single, central unit that results in two official seasons: hot & reapplying chapstick dry or keep a sweater at your desk cold.
What Are Other Corporate-Level Faux Pax’s That Make Us Cringe?
- Workspaces that are not conducive to creating touch points – community building amongst coworkers is denied because there are no spaces in the work space that promote or allow for physical connection, which provides a great chance of idea sharing and collaboration.
- Blank Spaces – There is zero need for blank walls when you can support local artists and hang beautiful, inspiring pieces on the wall.
- Isolation – everyone is in their own cubicle or office and management is somewhere sepearte. This physical separation sends the loud and clear message that everyone has a place, should stay there and that those physical boundaries are meant to contain you and your awesome ideas.
- Lighting – LED or Fluorescent lighting on top of staring at your screen for prolonged periods is proven to strain your eyes and cause headaches.
- Dead Air – there should at least 1-2 plants per person in an office. This helps clean and circulate the air however most corporate style offices struggle with this due to lack of windows and sunlight required to keep said plants alive.
Dedicated Office Persona
These are smaller business type of offices that typically occupy the upper floors of larger offices buildings – think bank on the ground floor and a stack of hallways above that are lined with closed doors and individual, unrelated businesses. Oftentimes these hallways are lined with cheap carpet, windowless doors and have terrible building directories, so tenants and visitors never know who else is occupying the building.
While most of the individual spaces within the larger system of a building will have the ability to control their own heating and cooling, they will still share ventilation and forced air ducts.
What Are Other Dedicated Office Faux Pax’s That Make Us Cringe?
- Isolation – It’s just you, 4 walls and a door. That sounds an awful lot like 2020. Can you survive and/or thrive in another space without human connection?
- Expensive – Are you ready to shell out +$800/per month? And does that price tag include taxes and insurance for the space? Not to mention your own renters insurance, utilities and services needed to do business.
- Uninspiring – do you really have an eye for design? Will your budget allow you to pull together a cohesive look in your space that reflects your brand so when you meet with partners and clients they’ll feel confident in you.
- Air Flow – In the almost post-covid life sharing air vents with your neighbor may not be ideal. What seems like your solitary space is not limited to just your air molecules and depending on the building, as a tenant you may be in charge of the upkeep and replacement of your HVAC.
Home Offices Persona
You slide out of bed in your pajamas, turn on the coffee machine and start washing left-over dinner dishes. Coffee is made and you saddle up to the kitchen counter or maybe it’s around the dining room table to plan content for your brand’s next month of digital existence, but the dog starts barking. Or the doorbell rings. And then, dryer buzzes, and you get up to pull the clothes out before they wrinkle.
Healthy, or No?
How likely are you to dedicate a specific workspace for yourself in your home, if you don’t have the square footage? Not only are you jeopardizing your career trajectory because your ability to focus is constantly interrupted or distracted. But you are also damaging your physical health by working in a space that does not ergonomically support you. Not to mention that if you’re not leaving your house much your ability to discover new sources of inspiration and experience new people, perspectives or ideas is incredibly limited and will leave you feeling physically drained.
What Are Other Home Office Faux Pax’s That Make Us Cringe?
- Isolating – zero chit chat with a coworker while you get lunch and no one to bounce an idea off of.
- Expensive – you could always move into a larger home or apartment to make the proper work space for yourself which comes with the additional costs to fill that office with furniture, and then also paying for networking events and lunches out to meet partners and clients. On the other hand, if you don’t have the space for a home office, you’ll likely be paying for it with your health for a poor set-up, the mental load of being lonely on top of the lack of stimulation from conversations and interactions with others.
- Distracting – your partner or family often develop the expectation that you’re at home and can deal with all of the household things + work. You know, like dirty dishes, dogs, laundry, deliveries, repair or utility service people, and so on.
- No separation of work & sanctuary – your home should be your sanctuary that you escape from the stress and pressures from the outside world. It takes an incredibly dedicated & determined personality to leave work in their workspace and not spread it throughout the house.