An Atlas of Places
People have different preferences when it comes to the place where they want to work. This chapter of the Atlas of Makers was very much about the physical place, and not so much about the people in the place, the people they work with.
Quite a few people do not have one single place where they work. There are a few people who work at two different places, and some who really don’t care that much.
Two different places
Joost has to work at school but he doesn’t like the open office space at all. It distracts him too much. When he needs to get something done he works from home. Both Arnold and Stefanos have a completely working environment during their summer holidays in Greece. Over there Stefanos doesn’t cook for others, which he normally does, but he does cook for himself. And Arnold does the same work he usually does from the attic at home, but in Greece he works in the shade of an olive tree.
Doesn’t really matter
Harold can work anywhere as long as it’s quiet, but not lonely. He likes people around him. Astrid actually works everywhere. She considers everything she does to be work. Which is much more positive than it sounds.
Many people (mostly) work in one specific location.
Robert Jan works at an office, and he thinks it’s incredibly important to make sure that it’s a safe place for him and his employees. Marrije works there as well and she really likes the view. Titus works from home and likes the view as well. They both look at a canal. Joke has her own workshop. She uses it extensively which can be seen by the carefully ordered mess. Diek does his most important work, the thinking and the sketching, from behind a table he made himself, while sitting on a chair he made himself.
Maarten has his own workshop where he builds sets for theatre productions. It’s a fantastic place — for me as a visitor — but for him it’s replaceable. When Vasilis has to concentrate he works from his hammock. Any hammock will do.
Questions and conclusions
A few interesting personal details, like olive trees, hammocks, workshops that have no real emotional value, people who always work. It’s probably more interesting for people who are thinking of switching to the so called “New Working Environments”. It looks like most people I spoke to would not enjoy such a place. While their preferences and needs differ greatly, it’s clear that a good place to work is very personal.
I need to distill some data from all the chapters. Quite some people did mention the people they work with, or work for, and I guess I can create a whole new chapter from this data. I should probably ask some questions about that as well.