Eyes, JAPAN Blog > Working Environment

Working Environment


When attempting to do good work, the environment around oneself is a very important parameter needing to be considered. On the one hand, I deem it important to draw a clear line between private and business, as it makes it easier to focus on what is currently most important. On the other hand, there are many benefits if work and life isn’t greatly separated spatially.

I am glad to be given the opportunity to regularly have some days working from my home office. An isolated environment and the occasional change of scenery can go a long way boosting productivity. Often I enjoy the silence of my home office: There is nobody but me and the next busy road is so far away that its noice won’t reach me. Occasionally, when heavily focussing on programming tasks, the opposite can be a great help as well: Turn up the volume of some music playing without having to wear any headphones.

My home working space is a self-made IKEA standing desk I wrote about in this post. Placing it in a room with a Tatami floor makes standing for a longer period of time dramatically more comfortable than on any harder floor.

Keeping various things I need throughout the day out of reach helps against fatigue from standing on the same spot all day long. Even if the drink is placed behind you on another table it helps. Additional tools like pen and paper (or an iPad for those who prefer that) being located a few steps away make for a comfortable work day. It needs some discipline to not accumulate everything nearby throughout the day, though. To help me not falling into this trap, I created a few recurring tasks to remind me putting back the things where I got them from.

I still prefer being able to hold important meetings in person. Almost everything else fits perfectly into asynchronous communications channels like email and messaging. A very important thing is that decisions and reports are never done only orally, but written down to create traceability and reference for others. This should be always remembered, but is especially urgent when having a distributed team.

I’d like to recommend trying to change the working environment once in a while. Why not work at home or at the café around the corner tomorrow? Or the park around the castle, if the weather is nice?

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