1 November 2008

It's Lonely in the Corner Office...

In my new job I sit in a corner office. I have never had my own office before and I can't say I like it, but I am getting used to it (sort of).

My boss and I share an office space. He actually has the real corner office, but we have an adjoining door. When he is in the office it is good, at least I have company. When he is away, it is very quiet and sometimes I just have to get up and walk around and visit someone or it feels like I am there by myself.

My company is moving to a new space with a more open concept and I am looking forward to it. I have always worked in an open concept and I like the interaction that goes on between the assistants.

I can interact where I am now, but I have to get up and go if I want to speak with someone and then when I get there I may find they are busy or on the phone so I have wasted my time. When you are in a cube you just stick your head up to speak to your neighbour and if you see they are on the phone, you go about doing something else until you hear they are free. Of course there is a down side to being able to do that. You have to be respectful of your neighbours. If you have ever worked in a cube you will know what I mean.

I have always liked to share and learn from my co-workers. I am good at some things, but not as confident in other things. For instance, I am horrible at collating. Where I used to work we had a Mailroom and I would plunk what I needed in a tray with a form to tell them how I wanted it to turn out and return to get it when it was finished. I liked that. Now I have to do it myself. Because I don't have the interaction that I had in the open space, I am not sure who to ask or who would know how to do it in a more efficient way. That is one of the advantages of the open concept. You see your co-workers at work and you can see their strengths. Most places that I have worked, people tend to work together and in an open concept I find the atmosphere lends itself to teamwork. You see a need and help out, or you see someone who does something really well and you say, hey can you help me out?

The disadvantage to the open concept is you or your neighbour can sometimes interrupt when you need some quiet time to get a job done. I appreciated my office and closed door one day last week when I had to get some minutes done and really needed to concentrate. It was wonderful to have that uninterrupted time to think and craft my words the way I wanted to.

There are advantages and disadvantages to either working environment, but I am looking forward to moving to our new open workspace and getting to know my neighbours.