Sunday, March 07, 2010

Workspace Pros & Cons

I have the fortunate opportunity to have both a job I like AND a job that lets me work from home. There are a surprising amount of perks to this but also a few downsides.

Some perks:
  • My commute is 15 feet
  • My dress-code is whatever I choose (for the most part sweats and tshirts... unless I have to leave the house... AHH natural light!!)
  • The bathroom is RIGHT there
  • Gee I feel like singing along to this song.... and then I DO
  • Gee I feel like speaking out loud to better solve this problem... and then I DO
  • I have a dog and he is great company and I can give him more than enough attention. He also gets me up in the morning and outside (that place where you have to wear pants, what a buzzkill) a few times a day
  • All the food you could ever want is 15 feet away
  • I can get groceries at lunch
  • I can do just about anything at lunch
  • No one cares whether or not I've showered, not even the dog (after all, I don't judge HIM when he hasn't showered)
Some downsides:
  • The TV is right there
  • All the food you could ever wants is 15 feet away
  • There is no one to watch over your shoulder to make sure you're being productive. There's A LOT of self-motivation that needs to happen
One of the biggest perks for me is that my workspace can be as comfortable as I'd like it to be. While I spend most of my time sitting in my office, I could potentially bring my laptop to the porch, to the couch, or even to a coffee shop. My workspace is very flexible. So, what is your ideal workspace? Does it change? Does it even exist? Are you using it right now? Are there major changes you wish you could make?

When I consider my best workspace it becomes a bit of a Catch 22. Let's say I want to be as comfortable as possible. Ok, so I put our sweats on, I have a nice cup of tea, maybe a blanket over my lap, reclined on the couch with laptop. Well, now I just want to fall asleep. Ok, so now I'm too comfortable. So now I need to reevaluate. Let's scratch the couch and choose the desk. Ok now I'm at my desk but I'm in a chair that I know is bad for my back. Is there a right answer here? I haven't even covered being inspired or productive in my workspace. Does being in a cubicle with a superior walking by every 10 minutes encourage you to work or does it just cause you stress and make you uneasy? Also, what is the end result of your best workspace? Is it a place where you are most productive, inspired, comfortable, and ultimately happy? Well that cant be right as we already saw that being comfortable can turn on us pretty quickly.

What I've learned from being at home: my ultimate workspace is a place where I can achieve high levels of productivity most of the time and I'm mostly comfortable (the space heater under my desk does wonders in the morning). The space just cannot be perfect. The facets of my preferred workspace cannot co-exist at high levels in perfect harmony.

What are some components of your workspace that help you achieve better results? (comfort, productivity, inspiration, motivation) For me, these are not necessarily physical. One thing that helps is when it's a sunny day. I know I'll get to go out with the dog eventually so I don't sit staring longingly out the window but the sun sure puts me in good spirits. Another thing is a clean desk and a clean house. All distractions are covered and I can get some work done. Or write another blog entry.

Another thing to consider, do you have a different ideal workspace for the different task in your life? What if we get TOO productive? Is there such thing as too productive? Will we just exhaust ourselves?

Ok I'll stop, too much thinking for a Sunday event. Hope everyone had a great weekend :)

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