Green with envy

May 2, 2011
2 min read

Warning: this post is entirely personal. And not quite relevant to anything, but…

I’m totally, completely, 100% jealous of the UK’s upcoming office move. (And of the royal wedding, but we’ll save that for later.) Mintel’s London office is about to move to a snazzy new space, complete with beautiful conference rooms, new desks, fresh carpeting, etc. I can’t wait to see pictures.

It’s not just the new stuff causing my mid-afternoon fit of jealousy, however. It’s the fact that most employees won’t have a dedicated desk in the office. Yep, you heard me right. Most everyone is “hot-desking,” meaning that they’ll move around from day to day, sitting by different folks, enjoying a different view.

I realize that to many people, this sounds miserable. Where do you store your post-it notes, for example? But to me, it sounds lovely. Fresh faces. Different scenery. Realizing that some desks have better chairs than yours. Being able to eat the same lunch two days in a row without anyone noticing…

Lately I’ve taken to hot-desking my way around the US office; taking advantage of the fact that I support multiple parts of the business and sitting all over the place. I love it. I feel more energized and motivated, just from having new people to talk to and a new window to look out of. I feel more connected to what’s happening across Mintel, and I think (or hope) I’m connecting better with my colleagues.

Mintel’s Inspire trend “Creative Class” kind of ties into this concept. We really have evolved to the point where “work” doesn’t have to happen in an office, or even at a desk. Today’s worker is working on the bus, in the car, sitting on the back porch and sometimes (though I don’t condone this) lying at home in bed. I think it’s good as far as creativity and flexibility go. I think it can be bad as far as isolation goes. But I think hot-desking walks a nice line between those two — you get the flexibility of change and inspiration, but not the isolation of a home office. Well done UK.

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