How space away from the office can improve our thinking about work

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It’s interesting to observe the way people get through the challenges of delivering their work, day after day after day.

Some people pace back and forth when they are deep in thought about something; others bob up and down in their chairs as if the simple extension of their bodies from the involuntary folded start position will shake loose an unconscious piece of genius from their heads. Some chew things; others consume things.

Personally, I like to get right up out of my chair and move forward purposefully until I reach first the invigorating air outside the office then an alternate connected universe.

Here, for a brief spell, my immediate view is not of the same walls, files, gadgets, and people I see for the better part of most weekdays, but an altogether different perspective with a completely new and exciting cast of characters.

The spontaneity of this experience – the ability to take charge of changing my everyday environment – makes me feel pretty good about the fact that I am still actually working.

It’s a state of mind. I am one of those people who is heavily influenced by what I see when I lift my eyes from the light-box in front of me. I’m also prone to directing my feelings about how the precious hours of my life are controlled towards those who control them. I believe that as humans, new forms of stimulation are inherent to our wellbeing and growth.

Ducking off for a few hours to concentrate on knocking off a big task – in a space where I am freed up from the usual workplace distractions – is actually a rather pleasant way to spend my time.

And if in my makeshift workspace I can open the documents I need from my company desktop, do what I have to do, and send them to my colleagues and clients without having to save, transfer and transport a single file, then I am working as effectively and lightly as I would be if I was at the office.

I often think about what I am doing when I can honestly say I am happiest at work. Finishing a project, getting something to a point where I can give it to someone else to take over, or crossing something off that irksome and unwieldy task list all rate highly. Where any of those things takes place matters less to me (or anyone I work with, for that matter) than the act of completion itself.

When we’re achieving we feel positive and it’s just so important to think good thoughts about what we do. The people we work for and with; where we do our most critical and useful thinking; and how we deliver the fruits of our labour all play a critical part in the complex psychology of our relationship with our work.

The act of removing ourselves physically from our office changes our thoughts about work. Simple freedom is a simple formula for happiness. Albert Camus said freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. Who wants to get in the way of that?


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