The last decade, my company went through major changes which fostered numerous floor transformations. Eight years ago, when I entered the organization, I was sitting in an individual room along with my team mates. Since then, I’ve moved to an open office which hosts various departments. I belong to the Services Operations which consists of a dozen engineers who work together in numbered positions. Vertical partitions made of glass, about fifteen inches tall, separate each position and provide some privacy during the day. Every time I walk in the room I see nothing but dull workspaces.
When I ask, the answer I get is “It isn’t time to decorate. It’s time to work” or “It’s not permanent, we are all gonna leave some day, aren’t we”? In fact, the daily routine is clouding every recreational activity and the workers put the blame on it. In addition, they pay too much attention on what other people think. They try to avoid judgment at all cost. This means that on their desk appear as little personal belongings as possible. Instead, they fill their head with useless information about gadgets and sports, numbers and symbols. After all, they forget to print a picture from a favorite trip or put some flowers on the corner of the desk.
From the beginning I was thrilled about the open office scenario because it opened the opportunity to pin some of my favorite pictures. Now, I use to take a break staring at a postcard from a popular destination in the Adriatic coast and a selfie at a French ski resort. It is refreshing and it calms me down. I also plan to buy a growing cactus in a small pot or a wooden statuette at my next trip. It will help personalize and put more energy in my office.
In conclusion, I see a straight connection between empty workspaces and whining behaviors. People complain about staying late at work, about bad bosses and heavy burdens. The same people spend eight hours in front of offices with no signs of life. It affects their mood but they don’t know it. So, when it comes to office decoration, we have to make a step forward.