Three years ago, when I took up a new role, I moved into a different building. It was the custom, you see. Colleagues who had held the post previously, had offices in that building. I got a new, shinny office, close to other colleagues with similar roles.
But that office was far away from the team I need to work with on a daily basis. And, over time, I noticed that I became less familiar with what was happening with that team. The day to day interactions were missing and, with that, the ability to notice changes in patterns and moods; the opportunity for serendipity, and the casual conversations. Even in today’s world of hyper connectivity, physical proximity is key to foster empathy and a sense of purpose, to use resources more effectively, and to solve problems quickly.
So, this week, I moved offices, again.
I have a new office, which is the same office I used to have. My old office. It is smaller. And shabbier. And has a problem with the heating (way too hot!). But it is just around the corner from the staff kitchen. And it feels great.