Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sanctuary at Work

My work territory has expanded recently.

The office moved from a cube environment to open space. Instead of working in a corner with a nice cubicle wall next to me, I am now in the middle of a large room. If I sat down I'd have cubicle walls, but it's more comfortable to work at a stand-up desk.

So what's a cubby-hugging woman to do? 
How do I create a comfortable place to work within an open space?

At first I tried resisting the change. I thought of ways to keep people out of my cube. I relived memories of my last open space environment job. But after struggling for a couple of weeks, I gave up.

During this time I kept stress at bay with non-dominant hand drawings and writings. The pictures were generally of someone inside a square with chaos happening all around.

One night, after most everyone went home two co-workers and I raided the meeting room and swiped one of the tables.  This was set up perpendicular at the left side of my desk. Now I had an L-shape space, or a square that is open on two sides. 

This small act of rebellion has reaped huge rewards.Yes, I am still in the middle of creative chaos. But taking the time to build myself a sanctuary allows me to focus on the task at hand. Adding an iPod Shuffle packed with my fav tunes also helps me feel good. 

Now when I'm hanging with my work people, I love it. Sometimes it's a quiet riot, with the roomful of us focused on our computers. And sometimes it's just riotous, with nerf footballs flying and folks scooting down the main aisle on lime green scooters. I've even threatened my co-workers with a Tarzan call ala Carol Burnett. Regardless of the co-worker weather, taking the time to set up my personal square lets me enjoy the co-worker chaos from the comfort of my almost cube.

How do you take care of yourself at work?