Does Your View At Work Enhance Your Life?

I love a good view. I will often choose a restaurant with outdoor seating. I enjoy working on my lanai when I am in Kauai. I believe that a gloomy room saps energy from your head and heart.

If you work for a corporation (and today with many of us gratefully clinging to any job, who is to complain) you likely have no choice on where you sit during the day. If you are lucky, you can see out a window or they let you work remotely.

Even if you work in an office, you still do some (a lot?) of work from home. When you are not working for pay, you are likely still spending time on your computer at home.

So what is the view beyond your computer?

I decided to post this “Hard at Work” post on my AskLindaSherman.com blog to reply to frequent “have a great time” “enjoy your vacation” comments when I mention I am currently at my house in Kauai. It really is possible to work in a beautiful place.

My theory is that you will certainly feel better if you are working in a beautiful place. A view is a gift to yourself. A message that “I’m worth it”.

My collection of View at Work photos from my kind friends who contributed are posted in this View At Work Flickr set.

If you’d like to contribute more photos to my set, here’s a tip: In the photos I posted from my lanai, I first attempted to take a photo of my computer screen with the view beyond. My MacBook screen is bright and beautiful but it is really hard to take an effective photo like that. So let’s just say we believe your computer screen is somewhere below your camera lens. If your work has nothing to do with a computer screen, please note. Scenes from restaurant kitchens and construction sites are welcome!

I hosted a discussion about View at Work at Liz Strauss’s popular Tuesday Open Comments Night.

Here is an example of what I am talking about, graciously provided by Marsha Collier:

I started working at home in the mid – 80s, when no one took you seriously if you worked at home. I wanted to be near my daughter, and I had contracts from retail marketing clients, there was no way I couldn’t do this at home. I had a 2 car garage and moved the car out. I had a big window put in, the garage rewired for phones and extra electricity, put in a drop ceiling with fluorescent lights, put in an air conditioner and had carpeting put down. I went to a used furniture store and got desks. When you were inside, it was a real office.

Ten or so years later I moved to a new house. I knew the value of being able to walk away from my work, and didn’t want papers or computers anywhere where I could relax. Nothing in my living space. So I had a room built off the garage and kitchen for my office. I love it (although it’s dreadfully messy). When the stress gets too much, I look out through the French doors (always keep the side vents open so I can hear the birds chirping at the birdfeeder)..

The attached pictures are from my desk and the second while standing at the French doors. I get a peaceful feeling whenever I look out. I love my home office.

Marsha Collier's view from her desk
Marsha’s view from her desk

Marsha Collier's view from french doors
Marsha’s view standing at her french doors

About Linda Sherman

International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training.

Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

Comments

  1. I moved out of LA five years ago because I could no longer tolerate the chaos, crowding, circling helicopters and listening to my neighbors flush their toilet. I moved to the High Desert, about one hour from Pasadena.

    Here I have the luxury of space (and quiet! And clean air!). I live alone with my Oriental Shorthair cats in a 2000 sq ft house. I also have a separate 1400 sq ft studio with 12 ft ceilings (100 ft from the main house – it has heat/a/c, six huge windows, rollup door where a car can drive in, separate driveway), a big green house and two other out buildings, one of which I converted for whichever one or two male breeding cats I have at the time. They have indoor/outdoor protected runs, heat and a/c and can choose to enjoy the outdoors on hammocks or the inside in heated beds (they go out through their own private windows.

    I have a large office where I write, a couple of computers (MacBook Pro and 30″ cinema display monitor, a PC with 19 inch monitor, printers and such) — it is where I spend the majority of my time.

    I have a huge kitchen that I re-did one year ago because cooking is a big passion. The house has an open floor plan and is great for parties, but my LA friends only come occasionally because of the distance.

    Here is a link to another website of mine. You can click on the Contact Us button and see the studio, “boys house” and also listen to some of my music, etc. or look at some of my photography: http:www.7thHeavenCats.com

    View from Marva’s Home Office

    Marva Marrow’s last blog post..Random Thoughts… to an unknown lover.. Nov 3, 2008

  2. Our house in the Berkeley Hills was fried in the firestorm of 1991. It’s on a steep slope overlooking a creek. Before the fire, it was a two-story structure, with stilts and free space underneath. During the rebuilding, it was decided to wall in the space below the house, for reasons of fire safety. One day, I stuck my head into the new basement area and said Wow! There’s enough space here for a big room, and then some! And it will have a great view of the creek area. And so it came to pass. And a couple of years later when our software business started up, it already had its first home.

    It took the plants in the yard several years to fully recover from the fire, but now we have a couple of flowering plum trees, a flowering pear, a willow tree which is very happy by the creek, and some bamboo which fits the Japanese theme of the house. To complete that theme, we also had a cherry tree. It did beautifully for a few years, but eventually went the way of the cherry blossom, probably because the roots got soaked.

    There’s a wooden bridge over the stream, leading to paths that run around the hillside on the other side.

    So, to relieve work pressures, I can walk up and down the long basement room, enjoying the view of yard and bridge. In season, hummingbirds hover by the windows. Deer occasionally come to warily munch. Rats, skunks, possums, and raccoons also frolic in the blackberry bushes, but I can’t see them. Sometimes at night can hear them. If I step through the door and down a few steps, I can be in garden. I don’t do that nearly enough.

    Opposite my desk is a stretch of wall, with a framed poster of physicist Richard Feynman in wizard garb. I can’t decide whether the wall is a welcome aid to concentration or an obnoxious waste of the view.

    It really, really beats commuting. But that may come back as the business grows. Then too, we’re right smack on the Hayward Fault. So I’ll kiss the joy while it flies.

    View from Mark’s Home Office

  3. Mark – I couldn’t focus on the view from your office; I was way too focused on your DESK and how absolutely clean it is. Mine is so cluttered I can’t remember what type of surface is underneath.

    Darryle’s Desk

  4. Darryle – I go through cycles: urge for order, entropy, urge for order, entropy …

    Casting out clutter is something all organisms have to do periodically. That’s metabolism.

  5. My house sits on a small hill along one of those odd-angled streets in Old Torrance. On certain days around sunset, I can see these great reflections from downtown.

    Of course this picture is also inspiration for me to go out and buy a good digital SLR (to replace my long since departed Canon FTBn).

    View from Stanley’s home office

  6. My view from our AKMG office on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California is quite nice. I love the fact that I can hear the world around me while getting work done.

    View from Kimberlee’s AKMG office

    View from Kimberlee’s home office (on her couch)

  7. “Great post Linda! What you say is so true – how comfortable we are in our work environment is incredibly important. If we are happy, we are more stimulated and creative and we spend more time working because we enjoy being there which shows in the resulting quality of our work. I agree that natural light is a vital component – I have two windows in my music room that allow the sun to pour in while I pound away at the ivories! : )

    Adryn’s Music Room

  8. I love this article. It is so true that atmosphere and my environment affects me a great deal. Thank you for inspiring us to create balance and add beauty into our lives.

    My home office and studio are filled with natural light and have great views. This has been very important my work. My patio is on the right at the entrance to my art studio where all the creative work takes place so I have a lovely view from my studio. I also enjoy painting outside, and feeling the sunshine and smelling my gardenias and jasmine. The back of my home looks like an Italian villa, Italy is my favorite vacation destination so it is my way of always being there. I am thinking about teaching an art class outside on the patio.

    Clara’s Art Studio (note multiple views in the set)

  9. A room with a view!

    One spends so much time working, I’ve really come to appreciate the luxury of creating a viewpoint that changes from moment to moment. That’s what I love about my current view of the water. Like my mind – it never seems to stand still…

    I think that’s one of the big pluses of working from home being able to choose your own view – whether it’s of your favorite indoor garden spot, personal sanctuary complete with fountain, incense and icons or your homey kitchen.

    I’ve had all of these views at one time or another as I’ve pursued my various vocations at home.

    I love my 10 minute commute from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen to office in my cashmere house slippers – courtesy of my BF.

    So enjoy your view… or change it…

    jerusha

    Jerusha’s View at Work

    Jerusha’s last blog post..The Last Single Girls – “Dating After 50″

  10. Linda, you can indulge yourself with a view and atmosphere that is breathtaking. My humble office consists of a room with a skylight. That one I seldom use. My other office is on wheels.

    The view from my office is quite spectacular even before the engine is turned on.

    I travel a lot in my work. Every day. And although I actually have an old-fashioned office I am as there as seldom as the cleaners. Maybe one day, or at only some hours a week. The rest of the time I spend traveling to my customers and working with them. My office is in some ways my car, and happily I can enjoy the most spectacular views on a daily basis. This actually keeps me in a good mood and helps me to be a productive member of society.

    As Norway is long and bent like a banana, my customers are all over and also a few in Denmark and Sweden, much time is spent in my car. And – of course – if I did not like driving, I could not do this. The number of yearly kilometers is probably enough to earn me a medal from the teamsters. The car they might reject.

    The photos I have taken while driving, with my Nokia N95 mobile phone, show views from my workplace. Traveling from my home in Vestby close to Norway’s capitol Oslo and to a shipping meeting hosted by my favorite customer Alfa Laval in Ulsteinvik on the west coast, demanded more than 600 kilometers of driving. One way. Over the hills and far away I had to cross three beautiful fjords by ferry before I parked outside the hotel. I arrived at the meeting as fresh as a newly picked apple. On time. After 10 hours driving. I will explain why.

    When you spend so much time in the car – you have a more or less a good excuse to be picky. Comfort, stamina and power is important, the same goes for my office design and Image since I am in the business of public relations.

    The view from my office seat is quite spectacular even before the engine is turned on. There is something about how they used to build cars. How the engineers at Jaguar put together a car built for pure pleasure and based on tradition. How they handpicked the walnut trees in the forest and nourished them before they hand crafted the interior.

    The changes from one model to the next could take ten years – to make the window wiper at the driver’s seat half an inch shorter. Owners complained about the fact that the end of the wiper dashed into the chrome-decorated rubber gasket holding the front window in place. 20 years later Jaguar did something about it. It is – or was – a part of the charm. My wiper is OK, since my car was built in 1990. Heavy, old fashioned in every detail.
    For me it is the same feeling of enjoyment to enter the car in the morning as a normal person is excited about a SPA-weekend at for instance Selma Lagerlöf in Sweden. There are absolutely no unwanted vibrations, only the good ones.

    Jan’s View from his car office

  11. I have owned my own business for 27 years. In all of these years I have mostly lived where I work. Large open studios for the majority, but now a more traditional house with a studio that was formerly a garage. I am a putterer and like to have multiple projects open and available to me as I work. I am diligent about keeping my view changing. In this shot you see photos on the wall. These images change every quarter. They are pictures of people, places and things of interest to me, business, art, entertainment. I use them to inspire me when the weather is grey outside my window. Inspiration comes from so many areas in our life if we are open to it. (For instance, this discussion). I have the opportunity to see into your lives and see what inspires you. This way I can take what works and apply it to my life and view. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I am fortunate to have the corner office, aka the dining room, with two large windows: one faces west and looks over the townhouse rooftops and the five high rise towers being built in the distance, the other faces south and looks out onto our deck, which becomes an extension of my office in the late spring and summer.

    Overhead hangs a de-crystaled chandlier. For years I had been itching to replace it with more office-like lighting. But recently I have concluded: I am worth a chandlier in my office!

    My office has only two full walls, one pony wall between it and the “family room” (which, being off the kitchen, is our dining room – made more sense for our needs), and is open to the living room. This makes my office feel quite spacious; otherwise, I’d feel claustrophobic. Although, sometimes, being able to close a door would be nice.

    On a warm, sunny afternoon, Faith my CFO (Chief Feline Officer) is sprawled across my desk. A package of cat treats is at hand, in a decorative box, on my desk. Cat toys litter the floor.

    I’m so glad I work from home!

    Glenda’s Corner Office

  13. Well, it’s certainly not Kauai, but it sure beats staring at beige walls! I love getting lost in the trees outside my window. Perfect for brainstorming…

    The view from Michi’s home office

  14. The view beyond my computer is usually a wall or a corner. It sucks. I don’t have any windows, and I’m constantly looking for a better place to get stuff done. The coffee shops around my area are seriously lacking. It sucks. 🙁

  15. I LOVE working from home. I’ve been working from my home office since the early 1990’s and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

    Everyday I’m surrounded by the home and animals and nature that I so adore. Even though I’m in the middle of Dallas, I live in a personal oasis. Out back is a creek with hundreds of trees. And outside of my office I’ve planted colorful flowers. This morning I saw the first hummingbird of the year outside of my office window!

    And just like Glenda’s comment above, my 3 cats come visit often. A nine foot kitty condo towers in the corner and cat toys litter the floor.

    Starting this week I’m ready to completely repaint, redesign, and refurnish my office. Over the next few weeks, I’m gifting myself with a complete office renovation and blogging about it during the process.

    Life is beautiful inside and out!!

    Annette Colby, PhD, RD’s last blog post..Home Sweet Home: Feeling Comfortable In Your Own Skin

  16. I actually got really lucky. We recently moved desks around and I have a spot with a great view of the window. The wall to my area is high enough that I can’t see the road, just the sky and clouds. It’s pretty nice!

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