It’s been ten months since we officially went full-on hoteling at my office, and six since remodelling pretty much enforced it. As an upside, the company is a lot more tolerant of working from home. While I don’t do it everyday–work demands actually have made this infrequent–it is a nice perk to have.
The biggest impact has been the stuff I need to get through my day. Some creature comforts were lost a long time ago–we’re really not supposed to hang things on the walls of the cubes. So, any pictures I want to have to exist on my phone or in the cloud. It also meant I couldn’t have a calendar up. Aside from having a really awesome one this year, I use a calendar an awful lot when scheduling things with different groups. Sure, I can go to Outlook and find one, but it’s not as easy as just to glance behind me.
The really hard thing is office supplies and water bottles. By the letter of the law, we’re not supposed to keep anything at our desks. So, this means that every day, anything I need at the office is either has to be lugged to and from home with me, or I have to walk around the office to find what I need. The office-provided supplies are somewhat annoying. If I need Post-Its, paper clips, or a stapler, I have to go to one of the copier/printer areas where such supplies are kept. While I sincerely appreciate the exercise, it does break my rhythm a bit to have to make a special trip just to, say, grab a pair of scissors.
The stuff I take too and from the office has, in particular, been the most difficult. Some of it, I admit, is just me being fussy–I like a certain type of pad, or some of the other office supplies cum toys that I like to have. During the months I commute by bicycle, I’ve pared that down to a minimum. Other things are in support of the bike commuting, such as leaving my work shoes at the office. Either way, I’m traveling with a lot more than I used to, and have had to adapt.
Some things just seem silly, like having to take a mouse pad back and forth.
Ultimately, these things are creature comforts. I like to have a water bottle at my desk, which I fill several times through the day. That has to be taken back and forth. Is it that big a deal? Perhaps not. However, during the week, about a third of my life is at the office. Having designated space I see as a benefit–I don’t have to reset from a blank slate each day. Some of these things, such as the Post-Its, clearly impact productivity. Other things, like my water bottle, make this a more pleasant place to be. Surely that has it’s benefits as well?