I just spent a week at a hotel in San Francisco that was new and lovely, and yet, when I was trying to work I just could not engage. Some spaces–hotels, offices, you name it–lend themselves to providing energy, focus, and action while others seem to just disengage me entirely. You could say this is just in my head, and you would be right, I suspect. But I know what environment motivates me most.
Do you recall staking out the perfect place to sit at the library in college? Sometimes your intent might have been to sit next to someone you were attracted to, but when you had a big exam or paper due the next day, where did you go? Maybe you went to student union, not the library. What about the environment motivated you and kept you engaged in your work?
At my house, my youngest daughter sets up shop on the couch in the living room when she does homework–to avoid the distractions of music and television elsewhere.
At ACI, my business partner Rick and I had a conference room between our offices, with sliding glass doors on both sides. Our employees named it the “fish bowl.” I found it one of the most productive spaces I have ever worked in. It provided easy social interactions, and the colors were stimulating. I established a history of good work and energy in that place, and that legacy was an important factor, too.
Are you spending time considering where you are most productive? Have you considered what type of environment motivates your employees?