The New “Traditional” – Breaking Out of the Traditional Office Space

— November 10, 2016

“There’s something wrong with your generation”. I can vividly remember my father saying this phrase to me many times during my youth. This lecture usually reared its head while we were casually chatting about my choice in music, or current celebrities, and most of all fashion and hairstyles. It’s an age-old tradition in most families that the generations don’t always see eye-to-eye. I am no different with my three children – most of the things they spend their time doing baffle me, especially their choice in reality television. I don’t get it.


There is one item that Millennials have perfected that particularly impresses me – no it’s not their ability to juggle several things while simultaneously updating their statuses online. It’s their ability to make the most out of wherever they happen to be at that exact time and reinvent themselves. It’s uncanny, unnerving and mostly awesome.


Have you ever noticed how many laptop sporting ear bud wearing Millennials you see working at your favorite coffee house? I happened upon this very scene this morning (the morning after the U.S. Presidential election) when I needed some caffeine in the worst way. I witnessed several tables’ worth of hardworking individuals quietly listening to podcasts or their favorite bands diligently completing the day’s task. I was impressed, immediately jealous, but mostly in awe. My generation wouldn’t have gotten away with this at the same age. This just wasn’t done and wouldn’t be implemented by the masses…boy, were we wrong.


The traditional office space is giving away to mobility and has been for more than a decade. This generation’s workers with their Wi-Fi know-how have been fleeing, en masse, the traditional four walls and a window office space for an environment that allows them flexibility, creativity, connectivity, and an abundance of caffeine. With all of the ways to connect today it doesn’t make sense for everyone to be locked in an environment that is not particularly suited for them – this obviously doesn’t apply to everyone and is dependent upon the type of job he/she is contracted to fulfill.


The ability to create a working mobile office space is perfectly captured in an online article from the Wall Street Journal – http://on.wsj.com/2g08ebR — where a former corporate software analyst reinvented himself, bought a sail boat, and works from the high seas. He and his crew, in between the occasional battle with pirates, have created their perfect office space and share adventures via Youtube.com and on their other social media platforms. They’ve even managed to somewhat monetize this to help offset some of the costs. This is as non-traditional as a workspace can be. It’s certainly not what I would have imagined at the same age…and I am 100% certain my parent’s generation would have just laughed and walked away shaking their heads if this concept of working outside of the traditional office were ever brought up to them.


I really appreciate one’s ability to transform wherever they are to a work area. It’s truly amazing, but one must have the wherewithal to focus and get the job done. It does not work if the job is not being attended to.


So, working outside of the corporate cubicle jungle might not appeal to everyone, but it’s got me thinking about where I want to plop down my laptop tomorrow. Wherever it is, there better be FREE Wi-Fi and caffeine.

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