Humans are social creatures and we do better in community, with some structure. It’s for this reason, I seriously doubt that we will be working from home and telecommuting for the rest of our working lives.
Space supports and defines community.
While we still love having a coffee pot to go to, a table, a whiteboard, and with it, the sense of purpose and belonging that going to that particular place brings. We don’t like the physical structure of most offices.
Liger recently opened its new headquarters, the Liger Lair, to provide a strong base for our growth. It’s a place to create community amongst our team and with our clients.
In designing this space, we took into account the 4 types of space that individuals need to be productive.
Type 1: A place where you can see everybody and everybody can see you (common space). Picture an open room with tables, chairs, or desks everywhere. This is optimal for visual stimulation as you can give it as well as receive it.
This is my favorite space for writing. In a coffee shop or big open plaza, the breadth of my audience is always represented and stays on my mind.
Type 2: An area where you can see no one and no one can see you. Perfect for those who want solitude and no visual stimulation – a conference room with no glass, an office with a closed door or even your home office when no one else is home.
This is my wife’s ideal environment. As a mathematician at heart with an introverted personality, she needs solitude and complete silence to concentrate on the details and complexities of her work.
Type 3: An area where you can see other people, but they can’t see you. This is great for extroverts who need to concentrate. There is the stimulation of others without direct access. It’s also great for introverts who get lonely; they feel protected but still visually connected.
We have booths at the new Liger Lair that accomplish this ‘alone-together” concept. It’s great for those that are more productive around people than at home without the interruptions that come from being in the middle of the activity.
Type 4: An area where everyone can see you, but you can’t see them. Imagine being in a room with a large group but your back is to them.
Others can see you – but you aren’t looking at them. Or sitting in the window of a coffee shop looking out on the street. Passers-by can see you through the glass, but they don’t interact with you because the glass creates a barrier.
Individuals who are shy or introverted, but want to be near people, look for this type of space to improve their motivation and it’s great for those who have a difficult time concentrating with others directly in their view.
Monotony, interaction and personal surroundings all come into play to either stimulate or limit us. This is why you feel unproductive when you only work from home or only work from the office – it only provides you the motivation you need to do some of your work.
Are you in a rut? Consider changing the location where you work or changing the view. Changing locations is my number one trick for improving my personal productivity.
Be sure to schedule a time to come by and see the Liger Lair.