Work Space or Work Place
What’s the difference? Why should we care? Who wants to work where?
The workplace, going to work, going to the office, this is how we generally described where we physically worked.
However, in this new world of work since Covid has forced the majority of us to work from home, what does the future entail for you, for any of us? Do you have a crystal ball? Are you a futurist? Well, I am don’t have the Crystal Ball and I’m not a futurist, but as the Queen of Behaviours I feel my input on how different styles want to work is a valid one, so here is my two penneth worth.
(Whether that is an office, museum, hospital or building site)
No matter what your personality style, certain activities can NOT be carried out remotely, and therefore going to your work PLACE is essential. When in the workplace, different styles will want different options; quiet space, team building space, collaboration space, activity space, rest space, etc… This is not a new phenomenon because most organisations have been using this philosophy for several years, the buzzword at the time was “hot-desking”. We now need this more than ever in the work PLACE, we have all been working in our work SPACE on a variety of devices and “desks” so to cater for all team members and the different work styles, flexibility is key.
Organisations should NOT be rushing to reduce the footprint but to start with, understand the makeup of the people using the space, how they want to work and their style of working (quiet / collaboration etc) is key to getting the future right. Reducing the footprint without this consideration could have teams working together that are disruptive for each other. EG. a team that is very vocal (outgoing / people-focussed) working alongside a team that prefers quiet space (reserve/task focussed) could have a negative impact on the output of work.
THE HOME OFFICE
(No, not the Government department)
This can vary from a dining room table, a lounge coffee table, your lap, the spare bedroom, your own bedroom, a cupboard under the stairs, a dedicated room or for those fortunate enough, a separate building in the garden. Also at home can be just you, your partner, children, elderly parents, animals.
Now, depending on which of the above you have experienced over the last 18 months, will also have an impact on how quickly you want to get back to the work PLACE. Also having an impact will be your behavioural style. Those outgoing amongst us will want to be back with the teams, the community, the camaraderie. Not just for team building but also the social aspect that our work PLACE gives. Those who are the more reserved styles will still want to come back to the work PLACE but on a quieter level, for resource, for structure, security, boundaries. You see we all need the work PLACE, we each need human interaction, but on our terms, depending on our personality style. Above all – and in my opinion – the human race was not defined to be solitary.
SHARED SPACE & DOWNTIME
We all need the space where we work, where we network, to be with our network, to build communities, to share ideas, to collaborate. Where we have structure, infrastructure and resources.
Let’s also look at the “3rd space” the coffee shop, the serviced office / collaborative space. This is a space where we can network, build communities, collaborate AND also have some quiet space, if the facility allows, or by plugging into our own devices, so still amongst people but quiet, within our space.
What about the 4th dimension – I’m not seeing a lot said or written about this – this is the space for DOWNTIME. Now our work SPACE has merged all the PLACES, the home, the physical building, the shared building where do we unplug and recharge.
Personally, I have some of the best ideas when I have downtime – I can even wake in the night thinking “oh that’s a great idea’ or on a weekend away and I get inspired by my surroundings. So this isn’t working time, this is ME time. Time for ME to grow, be creative, think new things, new ways to do things, different viewpoints. I believe this 4th dimension needs to be talked about in this new buzzword of “Hybrid working”
The personality Styles:
Outgoing / Task Focussed – Dominant, Structured, People, Formality, driven for results
Outgoing / People Focussed – Influence, People, fluid, fun, driven to generate enthusiasm
Reserved / People Focussed – Steadiness, Teamwork, security, calm pace, driven to foster a team mentality
Reserved / Task Focussed – Compliance, orderly, structure, procedures, driven to ensure compliance.
Ask yourself “Has your home life/work lifelines blurred?” I know mine have but I ensure I have a balance of 4 aspects.
Physical Office | Home Office | Shared Space | DownTime (the 4th Dimension)
And that I respect my own personality style (Outgoing / People Focussed) and recognise those around me.