Almost everyone can relate to being put to sleep by the beige, paneled walls of their cubicle—and the off-white desk and humming of your computer certainly doesn’t help. But companies today are starting to try and limit their employees’ boredom exposure, as well as minimize exposure to fluorescent lights and foam ceiling tiles. But what does this mean to us in the design field?
A recent article I read at Portfolio.com [link to article] discusses Bank of America’s My Work program, a company initiative that encourages individuals to work on their own schedules, either from home or at a My Work center. The program, which was developed five years ago, has attracted thousands of employees around the world. The idea is to maximize efficiency and productivity; and, since everyone has different paces and styles, it’s perfectly logical to give employees an entirely customizable schedule. Such programs would be highly advantageous in A&D firms.
It’s safe to say that most people in the design industry are right-brained (yes, that means you are creative) and thrive off of inspiration. So how can we produce our best and most innovative work if the most inspiring things around us are colored thumbtacks?
Allowing designers to enroll in My Work and choose their workspace and schedule couldn’t be a better idea. I have experienced the benefits of this first-hand as a university student when I re-located from the library (gray concrete interior) to the new student center (a vivid array of warm colors). The freedom to choose a new work setting increased my productivity and inspiration–even making flashcards became less of a drag.
In the end, the ability to choose when where you work is a brilliant idea, regardless of profession. Everyone has different work styles, habits, and preferences, and My Work caters to these specific needs. Enrollment has already sky-rocketed in the last five years. With the choice to be cubicle free, it’s no wonder it’s so popular.
-Zoe Namerow, editorial intern