I don’t know about you, but when I think of my ideal office space, there isn’t a cubicle in sight! Seriously. The idea of sitting in a small sectioned off space in which I will work for 8 hours of the better part of my day, doesn’t quite do it for me. Now, the reality is, even if you work for yourself, you will have an “office” space. A place to work, to brainstorm, to build, to serve, to solve, to assist, to create, to launch, to answer, to ask, to negotiate, to meet, to do YOU.
Having worked for others and myself, I can tell you that the “office” space in which I work is very VERY important to me. I’m not even joking. For starters, I am NOT a neat freak. But I like things in their place or have a place to go to when I’m done using them. I like things in arms reach. I like color — I have lots of colorful post-its. I like music playing softly in the background. I like a view, not a wall, or even a co-worker. I like to be able to get up and move around as often as I need to. Studies suggest that sitting on our asses is harmful to our health (but what the hell isn’t these days?). And I like the ability to come back to things without rushing or half-assing anything, so I like plenty of desk space.
When you’re out there and you’re interviewing for ideal positions you would like to have, don’t be afraid to ask the hiring personnel about the office environment you’ll be working in:
- What is the office set up like?
- Will my co-workers be seated close to me?
- Does a close seating arrangement allow myself and co-workers to talk and ask questions pertaining to work with one another? (trust me, I have worked in some strange places where even asking for help from an experience colleague on the job can lead to getting written up — wanna know what company that was, email me)
- Is there anything I can change about the space I’ll be working in to make it more productive for the duties I’ll be responsible for?
- How often does the office change up the environment in an effort to keep it fresh and collaborative?
ASK. Dammit, just ask. The worst case is that the interviewer won’t have any answers — which is to say, he/she won’t know — or that they don’t doing anything special with the office space to allow for more productive employees. But you gotta ask in order to know.
We take a lot of things into consideration when we’re looking for better employment opportunities, and the office space should definitely be one of them.