Friday, 24 April 2015

The 'hot' in hot desking

How we work is, I am regularly reminded, a crucial component of the satisfaction we derive from our occupation.  Whilst it has been a while since I was office based, hot-desking is a reality for many that I am well familiar with.

As is the heat it seems to generate...  The number of office environments that now feature some version of hot-desking is ever increasing, alongside escalating rental values for commercial property.  

What I am struck by is the impact that is, perhaps, less well planned that the layout constellation of the office furniture.  Each week I hear tales which highlight to me the angst experienced by individuals for whom the desking arrangements have simply become too hot.

In a world where we face a great many unknowns each and every hour, I wonder whether the additional stress caused by not knowing on arrival at your place of work where it is that you will be sitting is, at some level, counter productive for most office workers.  

Your environment either fires you up or it keeps you stuck.  
If you do not have an environment that supports and inspires you, 
then it will hold you back from your greatness.  
Rodney Rich

Corporate infrastructure has changed dramatically and continues to evolve rapidly.  Far fewer employees now boast a desk of their own.  Buildings are designed with far fewer desks than people with mobility in mind.  But what is the effect of these working practices on wellbeing across a workforce?

There may be contexts within which hot-desking can work very well but it seems to me that the benefits belong to the employer for the most part.  For problem-solving and creative work, most people do not fare well in isolation:  physical proximity and interaction promote best results.

Hot-desking is a solution only for those who are due to be in the office infrequently or temporarily.  Humans are social beings, and most of us like our own space.  Most of us perform better when we have a sense of control and ownership within our environment.  Beyond this, our desks tend to say something about us.  If we have a canvas on which to make our mark...

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Exhilaration /ɪɡzɪləˈreɪʃ(ə)n,ɛɡ-/

...(for me) is being out and about on two wheels.  In the sunshine.

And today was that day.  It has been a while.  And all the while my bicycle has been standing there looking rather sorry for itself in the hallway.  Waiting.

I have come up with every excuse in the book...

Too cold.  Too wet.  Too far.  Too much to carry.  Too complicated.

It's all too easy to overcomplicate things and if the last year has taught me anything, it's taught me that de-cluttering is a priority.  Only in this way can I remind myself what's most important to me.  And act accordingly.

Getting that right, and feeling it to be so, is pure exhilaration. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

A year later

It has been a very strange year.  Everything has changed.  Keeping up with the changes was the challenge.  And, somehow, I feel I managed that.  

There is something about the work I do and the way I approach it that means I am constantly reminded of the inevitability of change.  I have the privilege of being able to watch people change before my very eyes.  

Sometimes I see the changes before they do.  Which is a second privilege:  I get to share this with them by reflecting what I see.

The last year has enabled me to see very clearly this process working in reverse.  Those around me have gently reflected back to me all that has gone on and the height of the hurdles I have encountered along the way.  

We needed to move quickly.  There wasn't much space at that point to take time to reflect:  we were in it and that was exactly where we needed to be.  Now there really is no rush:  all is exactly as it should be, and there is time and space to look back and survey where it is that we have been.  

You're not the same individual you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago.  You're always growing.  Experiences don't stop.  That's life.