What happened to the glamour of office life? Was it ever even a thing? Perhaps it wasn’t – maybe that whole bygone era of sharp suits, typewriters and desk-side cabinets is just something that’s been manufactured for TV. In any case, I’ve no doubt it would have been a toxic work environment on a whole host of levels by today’s standards. Even so, I do find myself wishing that my workspace had just a little more pizzazz.
Don’t get me wrong; I think functionality should come first. Under that banner, I include things like ergonomic furniture, effective lighting (including natural light) and healthy airflow. Human wellbeing, in my view, is part and parcel of performance. The question is, where’s the line that divides factors associated with that from more purely aesthetic elements, like artworks, designer finishes and… well, desk-side cabinets?
Questions like these have me pondering what makes the ideal office fitout. Sydney businesses seem to prioritise technology, and integrating that seamlessly into the space. I can get behind that, although I’d prefer to see a bit more character in my work environments. You know – some kind of feature that serves no purpose other than to make a statement about the personality of the organisation. I’m picturing, like, an ancient Greek-style column painted neon pink, or a wall-to-wall mural of an elephant dressed as Fred Astaire and carrying a tray of cakes.
I realise that these things are more in the realm of office decor than office interior design. Sydney workspaces’ lack of such features, though, has got me to thinking that they do serve a functional purpose – one that goes beyond branding, even. They actively imbue a space with a vibe that funnels into the work everyone does, probably without them even realising, and thereby unifies the operation.
Then again, maybe that’s precisely what branding is. Look, I’m just a bored corporate accountant short of a tap-dancing elephant.