Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cool Workspaces

Yesterday's post had a theme on productivity.  Carrying on along those lines (and because I'm running out of good blog post ideas this week, quite frankly) it got me thinking about what makes a good work space for engineers/computer scientists.

I've seen many examples over the years of creative collaborative work spaces, like those at Google:

or Facebook:

The emphasis is on creating a fun space for people to work in.  I think that it can be novel and fun to use these spaces, but they have to be functional and not distracting.

What about offices?  Or open-plan desks?  There's been research on this for some time, with some touting the negative aspects of open plan offices and others championing them.  I've worked in both, and find I like the individual office system better.  I like the noise reduction - when I worked in an open-plan office, my desk was quite close to the kitchen, and there would be overflow conversations taking place right behind or beside me all the time!  It was quite distracting.  Another reason I like the office system better is for the ability to personalize and decorate, something I find makes a great conversation starter!  I've turned my office into a bit of a starbase, with a few added comforts like my couch and mini fridge:

Of course, I have a desk too (not shown) and multiple monitors, which makes multitasking easier.  Yes, I do actually get work done in this space!  I think making it comfortable and personalized has made me happier to be there, and thus increased my productivity, too.

How do you make your office your own and do you find that this makes you more productive?  Do you like adding personal touches or do you keep it standard? Do you prefer the open-plan or individual office system?

1 comment:

Mandie Legg said...

“The emphasis is on creating a fun space for people to work in.” - Absolutely! No wonder Google and Facebook come up with lots of groundbreaking ideas; their office space allows them to unleash their creative side! I think that's one of the key of the pioneering spirit: To be in a place where you can express your ideas and not be confined by the four walls of your office.