I'm inspired to write this, because as I was pondering this, I hear our resident lawyer call softly across the room to one of the programmers - "Hey Colin, I have a Tech question for you"... and he walks over with his laptop. Within 3 minutes, Colin has answered Daniel's I.T. question and they're both back to their own work. This kind of exchange is common here. We all have areas of expertise and specialty, and as it turns out, there are multiple times a day where asking someone nearby for advice or assistance is more efficient than searching on google. It makes you feel good to help someone, and getting an answer from someone you trust is way more satisfying than scrolling through pages of search results to find the most truthful response.
"But isn't it distracting in a big open-plan space?" others have asked.
Actually, it is less distracting than being at home where I have laundry to do, cats to play with and other everyday chores that will keep me only half-focussed on my tasks. At Cowork there is a sense of communal productivity... that is, you are compelled to work seriously because the person beside you is doing so. It's a form of accountability as well - people potentially could witness how much time you spend on facebook, or watching youtube videos... There are certainly more studious times than others, but the 3 o-clock crazies are shared amongst us. We get up and meet in the coffee bar for an espresso, or we wander over to chat with each other and stretch a bit. These kinds of breaks are a healthy necessity and they aren't drawn out because, after all, were here to get work done. And Friday is Beer-O-Clock, which is all about chatting and socializing. We save our bigger conversations for those opportunities.
As I'm looking for a way to smoothly wrap up this wee blog post I realize that our in-house writer and proofreader isn't in today. Dang. I'll have to hope I caught all the typos and errors in this post!