I recently finished reading The Art of Innovation by Tom Peters of IDEO and at the same time am preparing to move to a new office at work. I am moving downstairs in our building. Several things struck me about our offices as I read the chapter on workspace. The majority of our executive offices are upstairs, above the majority of our assistant staff. We don’t have an elevator so there is no way for the handicapped to meet with our executive staff in their offices. My current office space is more of a hallway that has been closed off on both ends. My light switch is located in another room and I have taken to putting up Christmas lights in my office because of the frequency with which people turn out the lights from the other room. The new office downstairs is closer to the IT room and the assistants, who generally have the most problems on the network since they are on it more than anyone else. The office is closer to the entrance, the kitchen, a basketball gym, and the bathroom.
So as I begin to think about setting up my new office I have a lot of ideas running through my head. Maybe an island work surface in the middle of the room with storage underneath or pushing the work surface to the walls and putting the screens on one wall and a couch on the other with a coffee table in front of it. It also needs to be painted. The color is a mixture of institutional gray and pale, pale blue. Do you remember the scene in Joe Versus the Volcano where he is in his office and the color is all off in a strange green tone. The good news is that the ceilings are 10′ so there is plenty headroom.
So what would you do with your office space if you had the opportunity? What furniture would you put in there to create inviting collaborative space? What colors would you use? Take some pictures of your office and send them to me. Maybe my old office wasn’t so bad compared to your space.