Like Debbie, I really enjoyed this article in the NY Times about White Space at work. For years now I have been "hiding out" at the office. I have a good few places in our offices in Reading where I know I can get some quiet time and get work done. Certainly in my old role if I sat at my desk I would get almost nothing done as if I was at my desk I was fair game for people to wander by and discuss what was on their mind. No problem with that, especially when you're leading a team as that's your job, but when you need to get some stuff done finding the so called "white space" is essential. As the article states:
Desks suffice for answering phones and filing forms, but when it comes to the creative or introspective aspects of a job, desks can be uninspiring at best, or formidable obstacles at worst.
So we leave those desks. Because we can. We take our laptops and seek shelter (and WiFi) either elsewhere in the building, as Mr. Judkins does, or farther away in libraries and bookstores.
In fact my favourite spaces to get work done are well outside of the office - even the home office. I often wander down to a coffee shop or Shackology where there is free WiFi and a good vibe that doesn't stop me working. People think I'm joking when I say I'm going to the coffee shop to work but it's where I get a lot of good work done.
For me, being most creative requires me to have people or activity around when working but not people who know you and will interrupt. No disrespect to my colleagues but for years I have encouraged my team to get out of the office at least one day a week for thinking time. I tell them to go to the library, get out of town, find new surroundings, whatever....just find a new space as it can be energizing for creativity. I think that's why my friend Hugh gets a new lease of life when he's in Cumbria.
So for 2008, find your creative space.