Tuesday morning, before heading out to the office, I responded to an email on my phone. I wanted to make sure my German colleagues had what they needed before they logged off for the evening. I work from home.
When I got to my office, I finished going through my inbox and started to work through my task list for the day. I work from my office.
I had an 11:00 brainstorming session in one of the conference rooms that involved multiple groups from all over the world. I work from conference rooms.
My team had a couple of big action items from the brainstorm, so we grabbed a huddle room to work everything out. I work from huddle rooms.
I work from coffee shops. I work from the airport. I even work from my dreams sometimes.
This is not a story about work/life balance. The technology exists, for many of us, to work from anywhere, and it’s up to us to find a healthy balance. Instead, I want to focus on the importance of identifying the most effective workplace mix for getting work done. Here is a breakdown of the places I work and the type of work I do when I’m there: Office
I spend a good chunk of my time working from my office. From writing emails to analyzing data and creating reports, my office is my go-to spot for solo work.
I prefer to get my light tasks done at home—e¬specially if I can avoid a longer-than-necessary commute by working the first or last hour of the day from home. I’ll also work from home on days when I need to be there to sign for a package or if I’m feeling too sick to go to the office but not sick enough to lie in bed all day.
I like going to a coffee shop for a change of scenery. I also travel on occasion and will find myself working from the airport terminal between flights. I try not to rely too heavily on unknown or remote mobile networks when my presence is required in a meeting or when I’m scheduled to present.
The conference room
The large meeting room, or conference room, is great for sharing information with a group. Our conference rooms are outfitted with video so we can connect with teams outside of the office and contractors outside of the company. It’s really incredible to see a full meeting room virtually extend to multiple full rooms all over the world and still allow everyone to have a voice, a face and a seat at the meeting.
The huddle room
Ever since we started adding video to our small meeting rooms, I’ve found the huddle room to be the most productive space for my team. It’s a place where my small team can work together in person and over video to act on information in real time. We typically bring our laptops, and the coffee machine, into the room with a focused project to work through and a goal to meet before we can end the meeting. If you haven’t already deployed huddle rooms, or you’re looking for more information on making the most of your small meeting space, I highly recommend you check out these Five Must-Haves for Any Great Huddle Room.
The idea of a workplace mix isn’t something we were considering 10 or even 5 years ago. Technologies like video conferencing let us to stay connected to our teams when we aren’t located in the same office or the same country. With video, I can collaborate face to face from my office, my home, the coffee shop, meeting rooms large and small and everywhere in between. I’ve only recently started tracking the different places I work throughout the week, but I’ve found it incredibly helpful to know where I need to work when I need to get work done.
What about you and your team? Do you work best alone, or do you find that your most creative ideas tend to come out during Friday’s happy hour? Let us know in the comments below.