If you, like me, spend most of your working life at a desk then you might begin to question how influential this is. My fingers move. The keyboard rattles. The brain flows through cycles on deep and shallow thought. Ok, but what is the role of the environment? I must admit on starting to feel little restless in my ageing office. We are told that it is important to take a break and perhaps go for a walk. Even when it isn’t particularly relevant, I feel the urge to shift working structures a little.
Ok, so I don’t have my own office and there is only so much I can do with existing facilities. Whenever I’m not working on admin tasks, my work revolves around coding. Coding combines problem solving with creating, building and strategic planning. Where am I going with this? I’m sure we have all noticed that dining in a candle lit restaurant in a beautiful historic town can induce a distinctly different response to dining in your own kitchen, even if the meal were exactly the same. So why should creating, coding, problem solving be any different? For me, if I feel inspired or even a little budged from the ‘standard’, I can start to detect a difference in the work I deliver. I completed my Physics degree and Phd at UMIST in Manchester. The main building always felt quite inspiring and, to this day, walking around the corridors and re-aquainting myself with the sights and subtle smells brings a smile. It seems I need to start exposing myself to these environmental influences again. At least it cant harm to try.
But does this mean spending less time in my existing office? Perhaps. I have a good laptop and my coding can continue. I’m lucky to work in a University with an extensive campus to search for those inspiring quiet corners. The urge to experiment may not even result in staying within the confines of my campus. In an age of burgeoning technology startups, Manchester is providing many new working spaces deep in its traditional core. To be surrounded by a ‘non traditional’ and exciting community of tech developers might provide the kick I have been searching for. There is, of course, the call of the coffee shops and a trusty table. I have options it seems and I look forward to trialing every one :).