Office Space.

A few years ago my office IT department traded out my old standing computer and replaced it with a laptop. It’s been really great—among other things I can take it to meetings and actually get things done which doesn’t always happen in meetings, but that’s another story. And, I said to my boss, on nice days I could take it outside and sit in the grass and work.

She sighed. “Please don’t.”

She had a point: there’s still a lot to be said for the collaborative nature of the cubicled space we call “the office”, including the ability of coworkers to find me and ask me questions I may even be able to answer. That personal connection, being able to interact face to face and not just through whatever they’re calling video chatting now, is valuable. It’s why my position keeps me mostly bound to a desk in a specific place and so I can only stare out the window—although first I have to get up and cross the room because my cubicle doesn’t have windows, only Windows—and envy the people who are using parking spaces as makeshift offices.

Admittedly no one’s doing that in my area yet, but it’s an idea that’s caught on in San Francisco and now spread to France, and how it skipped over North America entirely is beyond me, although it may be that what those two places have in common is that office space is very expensive and parking spaces are cheap and people are really good at working out workarounds. Some are using free wifi provided by businesses—which makes perfect sense to me. Even though when I take a break from work and go outside I’m getting away from screens I know a few good places to stand if I want to borrow a free signal so I can look up something I really need to know at the moment, like the scientific name for the golden jellyfish found in a lake in Palau. Don’t judge me—I need obscure facts like the Mastigias papua needs algae.

Anyway using parking spaces as office spaces is a great idea; as some of the people who are doing it acknowledge it gives them easy access to delivery services, transportation—why leave the office to catch a bus when one’s going to stop right next to you?—and it creates a sense of community.

Of course I have a feeling someone’s going to want to use a parking space to, you know, park their car, and that’s probably going to lead to the connection of someone’s fist to someone else’s face.

11 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    I appreciate how you take up space, Chris, with so many interesting connections. I need your posts the way a certain jellyfish needs algae.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      And like the jellyfish we just keep swimming.

      Reply
  2. Bookstooge

    Take MY parking space so you can work outside? Heresy!!!!!
    😉

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Okay, I won’t take your parking space. I’ll take someone else’s parking space.

      Reply
      1. Bookstooge

        THAT’S the spirit! 😉

        Reply
  3. Arionis

    I’m guessing this is not going to take off in Seattle or any other place where it rains a lot.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Sure, working outside wouldn’t take off in Seattle, but then Seattle has all those hip coffee shops that I’m sure have free wifi. Heck, there are times I’d be more productive without wifi. A few weeks ago we went a beach house and I got a lot done just sitting on the deck with my feet propped up.
      Of course I also got a wicked sunburn that I never would have gotten in Seattle.

      Reply
  4. Rakkelle

    This probably won’t happen in NYC since we don’t even have any parking spaces for our cars. 😁

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s why cars in New York double-park, isn’t it? And I would say something nice about the public transportation in New York but I just got an earful from somebody who used to live there about how New York buses always travel in packs of four.

      Reply
  5. SkyeEnt

    Why work in a parking space when you can work from home? Remember the Dilbert cartoon with the puppet Dilbert? 🙂
    SkyeEnt recently posted…Shorts and WelliesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Somehow I missed the Dilbert cartoon with the puppet Dilbert. But I find working at home too distracting. Would it be less distracting than working in a parking space, though? I don’t think my boss wants me to find out.

      Reply

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