I know lots of people who have changed their geography of work this year.
That’s an odd way to say that people are working in different offices, different buildings. Sometimes whole offices of people have moved. Sometimes people have changed companies and careers and clienteles.
Even I have changed spaces. I changed both desks and desk locations at home. I changed where I work, who I work with, what direction I travel when I go to work. I even drive a different one of our vehicles to work, changing to the one that has better mileage because I now travel further. The photo is from my new drive home. I used to see factories and houses and big buildings. Now I see barns and buggies.
Nancy, on the other hand, travels closer. She kept the same people to work with but they moved to her third office in four years. They share space with other organizations.
Connie changed houses, Chris changed offices. Some of you have exchanged an office for a briefcase and hotel room and endless coffee house/wifi hotspots.
For all of us who have changed geographies, may I make a suggestion?
Sometime soon, very soon, slide your chair back and look around the space. As you look at the geography, how have you inflicted yourself on it? Perhaps more importantly, how has it inflicted itself on you?
Have you changed how far you walk from the parking lot to your desk? How has that changed your exercise? Have you changed how much desk space you have? How does that change how you lay out your thoughts (I put up a bigger whiteboard)? Have you changed how much time you spend close to people or away from people? How does that change how loudly you can play your music (I shut the door) or how loudly you can talk on the phone or how much white noise you need to shut out other noises (I downloaded a white noise loop)?
All of us know that there is a measure of stress associated with changing living and working spaces. Some of it is good stress, other is less good. We feel it and may blame the people, the pressure, the job. But too often, I think, we don’t pay attention to how much of the stress comes simply from the way habits change as the patterns of space change.
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