What’s Your Ideal Office?

April 3, 2013

One of our employees was asked just that question during a business communication seminar. The answer is likely to speak to personal preferences, employment history, business traditions, and a host of other individual characteristics.

Some people dream of the big executive office; you know, the one with the big desk and penthouse view. Certainly that was the goal of the last century. However, other, newer, workplaces focus on open spaces. Our friends down at the Hub here in Raleigh offer lots of areas that are wide open, and a good number of startups have “brought down the walls” to encourage cooperation and group work. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer recently made waves when she announced that all employees would be required to come in the office instead of working from home.

The answer depends on what gets the most done: simplicity, focus, collaboration, prestige. We’ve tried many different office scenarios, and even after 30 years, we’re still figuring out the best way to get things done for ourselves and our clients.

We thought a look at what people on Pinterest felt made a great office would be fun, and we weren’t disappointed.

We’re not sure the name “cubicle” really fits; sure, it’s built off the cubicle concept, and it could certainly fit in a cubicle-sized space, but it’s way cooler. There’s a best of both worlds feel to it, as it’s open enough to allow chance meetings but closed enough to cut down on some of the distractions.

Here’s one of those open offices we mentioned earlier: lots of space, lots of collaborative areas, short on privacy. Not the place answer your cell phone. For those of you who’ve worked in this environment: do you find yourself working more when surrounded by others, or less? Does the constant interaction energize or drain you?

Now here’s that traditional office: big chair, big desk, plenty of light, maybe a wall mural or piece of artwork. While not the “cool” thing anymore, there’s still something to be said for clearly defined boundaries of “work” and leisure,” and with an office like this one that line is pretty clear. Is this kind of executive suite still a thing to be sought after, or do you think its time has gone?

Here’s a midlevel office, which could be setup either at work or home. We like the look, but does anyone else notice how far up the keyboard is for someone sitting in that chair? We’ve found that reaching too much to type can really take a toll throughout the day (and week, and month). How do you like to sit at the office desk: straight up, or more relaxed? Where’s the ideal place for that keyboard?

This office is certainly creative: you’d feel like you were playing joomba every time you walked in the door. How would you ever find anything?

We’ll just quote the person who pinned this little illustration to explain why we included it: “My ideal workspace would involve a recliner, a 52-inch plasma television and a soft-serve ice cream dispenser within arm’s reach. And maybe a pencil or two for good measure.”

What’s not to love about that?

Finally, we had to include a picture that featured one of our favorite office accessories: headphones. No matter where you work (by yourself or in a group), having the ability to tune everything out can be a great blessing. Do you find music helps you get things done? What kind of music is your “productivity” playlist made of?