Saturday, March 24, 2012


(*I apologize in advance as this turned into a bit of a've been warned.*)

Have you ever stayed in a hotel? I have stayed in a myriad of them over the course of my life. For the most part, I haven't minded most of them and the occasional annoyance can be overlooked in light of the short stay. But there's one hotel that I'm not really a fan workplace.

You see, to make the offices more flexible and allow people to work closer to where they live, the company I work for removed most of the assigned office spaces and made it "hoteling" space in the DC area. Basically, I have to reserve a desk to work at each day I plan on being in the office. But I can only have 5 office reservations at a time. And I have to cart my laptop back and forth between my home and the office.

The system is supposed to be helpful for everyone as it allows people to move around more freely and not be tied down to one office. It allows them to work at the office closest to where they live (the office they "map" to) with the flexibility to visit other offices as needed for meetings, etc. And it theory, it's a great idea.

It would be a fabulous idea...if I were allowed to work from the closest office more often. I'm working with a team based an hour away near Dulles Airport in Virginia. Because no one there knew me in the beginning, they wanted me to be in the office so people could get to know me and so the team could gel since this was an entirely new contract. Okay, I get it and agreed to be there for a time. In December, I was allowed to go back to working from home one day a week which was wonderful, especially since it meant using less gas and one less day paying the toll to get home (which is now $2.25 one way).

But living an hour away from the office and having to fight Beltway traffic takes its toll. The knowledge that I'm passing at least 4 other offices on the way doesn't help either. And now, the company has released what it considers to be the "Guiding Principles" for this system and the first one listed is flexibility! One of the statements in there is that staff can work anywhere (subject, of course, to client requirements which is understandable). Here's hoping my project manager is listening!

One of the big downsides to hoteling in general, in my opinion, is the utter lack of any personalization in my workspace since I have no stable space. It just feels so drab and utilitarian. There was actually a study a couple of months ago that said workers are more productive if they have pictures of family and loved ones in their workspace. I believe it...

Basically, I can see the benefits for people who move around frequently or who usually work on site with clients. I think more of the benefits of the system would be realized if managers were more willing to work with a geographically dispersed team. I think there's still some ingrained thought patterns in the working world that make dispersed working an uphill battle. And I'm caught on the front lines...

</End Rant>

Thanks for letting me vent! :)

Soli Deo Gloria,

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