Over the years I have worked in a variety of offices, which ranged from ‘cubicle farms’ to a ‘formal’ office environment.
One of the reasons I think some people hate their jobs is because the design of their office does not fit their personality. The funny thing is that most people don’t even realize how the design and layout of their office can significantly affect their mental health and job performance.
When I worked for an accounting firm, the office was very, very formal. The partners and senior managers had offices, and the support staff sat in cubicles. In addition to working in isolated cubicles, the colors of the office were beige, gray, and white. Could you work in a more boring place? Because of the boring office design, colors and layout, the work productivity level among support staff was pretty low. On the other hand, the productivity among senior staff members was pretty high because they worked in closed offices with beautiful furnishings and floor to ceiling windows. My productivity would be pretty high too if I worked at a cherry wood desk and had a view of the lake.
I have also worked in a semi-open office space. I worked in this space after coming from the ‘cubicle farm’. Initially I thought I would like this type of office design, but after a few weeks I started missing the privacy of my closed cubicle. If you have always worked in a cubicle environment, you also might experience difficulties working in an open office space. You will probably miss having privacy when you are trying to work or talking on the phone. The ’phone thing’ was my biggest complaint. I had become so used to making phone calls with a level of privacy and never worrying about anyone hearing my conversation. However, when I moved to an open office space I had to adjust my voice level when I made phone calls. I had also had a hard time adjusting to hearing other co-worker’s conversations, especially when I was talking to clients. It can be really difficult having a serious client conversation with so much noise in the background.
Another type of office design that does not work for some people, are offices that have game activity rooms and employee lounges. The activity rooms usually have things like video games and pool tables, and the lounges are filled with lounging chairs and bean bags. In addition, most of these types of offices also have mini-refrigerators filled with beverages and snacks. You would think everyone would like this type of work environment, but that is not the case. Believe it or not there people who will trade these ‘perks’ for a cubicle, steady pay check, and break room vending machine.