My Friday fun poll over on LinkedIn this week is about your preferred working environment and whether you like background music, talk or silence.
We don’t have much choice but to work from home at the moment and that may or may not be conducive to getting stuff done.
But putting to one side these strange times, what would be your ideal ‘office’ set up?
It’s such a personal thing, isn’t it? I don’t envy businesses designing office space and trying to navigate the middle ground.
Open-plan offices have made communication and collaboration much easier – but they can also be noisy and distracting.
Idea of office hell
My idea of hell would be an office with music that I had no control over.
I do like music when I work but it has to be classical. Anything else is distracting and can start to stress me out.
If I can’t have music then I want quiet or a very low hubbub of voices.
Back when I used to work in an office I often found it noisy and difficult to zone out of conversations happening around me.
Trying to concentrate
It could be particularly problematic when I needed to concentrate on writing, proofing or editing. I would plug into my iPod and put on my classical music playlist to drown out the noise.
Or I’d go and find a nearby cafe to work in. The conversation of strangers isn’t the same sort of distraction.
In fact, working in cafés is something I still do even though I don’t work in an office any more.
It’s a change of scene from homes and that can sometimes unlock my creative juices or help me focus if I’ve got a deadline to me.
Not an option at the moment, obviously.
My dream work environment would be a home office – a separate room – with a view of trees or greenery of some sort.
I’d like a nice big, height-adjustable desk so I could stand if I wanted and desktop Mac with a big screen and my laptop rigged up as a second screen.
There would be large dry wipe board – or a wall with the dry wipe paint for planning and brainstorming ideas for particular projects.
At the moment my desk is in my living room as I only have one bedroom and I don’t really want to plaster the living room wall with work notes.
Not a terrible work set up
It’s certainly not a terrible setup. I have a small standing desk and it faces the window. There is a tree and a view of the park opposite.
I can see people walking their dogs and going for a run and it’s nice to see other human beings nearby.
Before setting up my own business, I worked in several different offices and only a couple of times was close to a window or had any sort of view.
Natural light makes a huge difference to mood and sense of wellbeing – for me at least.
What would your ideal working environment be?