Maybe I watched one too many TV dramas set in the mid-twentieth century while I was at uni, but I always imagined that paid work would take place in an inner-city office filled with filing cabinets, teetering stacks of paper in overflowing in-trays, and minibars on little trolleys. Despite the fact that the characters in these shows never seem to be having the greatest of times, I can’t help but long to participate in their particular brand of mundane glamour.
I should have known that actual workplaces, here in the contemporary (and non-fictional) world would be completely different. To the credit of real-life offices, things are considerably more efficiently organised than they were in my imagination. Paperwork is not really a thing in this day and age, so hard-copy files and physical in-trays are virtually non-existent in most workplaces. Minibar situations, too, appear to out as far as Melbourne office fitout trends go.
I just think that a tiny injection of that old-school vibe could go a long way in terms of making some of these places more fun to work in. Now, I get that work isn’t necessarily supposed to be fun, but is there any reason why it shouldn’t be? As far as I can tell, when it comes to recruiting office designers, Melbourne businesses tend to opt for companies that can reflect their unique brand. As it happens, ‘fun’ is not typically part of that.
From what I understand, there are many companies around now that do see themselves as ‘fun’, and their offices as thrilling environments to work in. Call me old-fashioned (please, do it), but my idea of fun is not lime green sculptural seating and on-tap vitamin water. My idea of fun is role playing a character from a glamorous age gone by. Sure, this might not be about to happen for me any time soon, or even halfway appropriate given that I work for a robotics company.
Perhaps I need to shift my mindset to one of being a character in a fictional future.
I like to think that I’ve basically mastered the banjo by now, so I’m trying to diversify into other instruments. I tried the triangle last week, but I really felt like there were an infinite number of nuances that just aren’t for me; not the way I am now. Perhaps I’ll give it a few years and come back to it. Right now I’m struggling with the tambourine, but I’m determined to make it my own! Not that you can really own a musical instrument; it’s more of a symbiotic connection between friends.
Right now I have my sights set on a musical competition where people have been challenged to use only a single syllable to create a song, and the reward is that a company will come and do a full commercial office design for your company! Of course, I don’t have a company, but I’m thinking of gifting the prize to my friend Elsa, who DOES work in an office and has confided in me several times that the bland cubicles and blank walls are steadily sapping her creativity every single day. If Elsa is the one who presents the office design to her boss, that will give her some degree of creative control, and thus she’ll be able to steer her workplace in a more positive direction. Maybe I’ll claim ONE thing, since I won/will win the competition. Perhaps guitars hanging from the ceiling, to remind everyone that the music is inside them?
I have to actually write the song first, however. A single syllable is almost TOO much, as my symphonic poems are often done with a single letter. How can I best appeal to people who would offer premium office designs? What syllable best represents offices? This almost makes me wish I’d spent more time in them…almost.
I’m going to go with ‘UGH’, because that’s the noise I’d make if I had to drag myself out of bed to sit in a cubicle. But for Elsa, once she gets her premium Melbourne office fitout, that will be no more! Open-plan all the way! Complete with dangling stringed instruments.
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Anyway! I have once again attended a wonderful conference, this time on the benefits of incense and the importance of focusing one’s mind depending on the scent and flavour. For you see, incense comes in many different varieties, each of them with a different purpose. The fellow taking the course is a guru who works in an ordinary office by day, and by his own admission, he managed to save the company from total annihilation with the simple power of incense. You see, the company had decided that Melbourne’s best commercial office design was the best way to revive the dying business, but only one man saw the truth. He saw the office being converted, the lights replaced, the furniture restored, the sofas swapped out for more colourful sofas, and he knew…incense was the way. Just as he thought, the new office didn’t smell right. It smelt new, which as we all know is the smell of all positive spirits being banished from a place. And so, he brought his own, home-made incense in to burn while the office was closed for the evening, a special blend of his own that was optimised for spirit generation. They came in the next morning to frankincense, mixed with pomegranate and a hint of vanilla, and the entire company was saved, maybe! I suppose the fact that their heating actually worked going into winter did help, but the incense tied it all together. Maybe all office interior design professionals in Melbourne should take note: comfortable chairs, nice carpet and functional lighting are nothing…actually, they’re all quite good, but incense rules all. Nothing is greater!