What is the best environment for someone to do their best work?
To answer this question, you need to consider the following:
- the type of work they are doing. Is it focused work, collaborative work, relationship building, networking, learning or shallow busywork?
- their role in the work and in the organisation. To what degree are others dependant upon them and in what ways?
- the stage of the projects they are working on. Early stage ideation, middle stage execution, late stage panic?
- their age
- their seniority and status
- their abilities, both physical and mental.
- the stage of their career
- their sex
- their personality. e.g. introversion/extroversion
- their life circumstances. Do they have caring responsibilities? Are they in a stable relationship? Are they going through a crisis?
- the environments available to them – home, coffee shop, library, cowork space, office, etc.
- the state of their mental and physical health
- how they feel
This is not an exhaustive list, nor are all the issues of equal weight. It will continually change for each individual.
Every day could yield a different answer for each person.
In fact, it could change every hour.
Anyone still think the answer is an open-plan office?
Or the 9-5, 5 day week?
Organisations that provide the flexibility to enable each person to craft the best answer for them, on a dynamic basis, will thrive. As will their people.
And those that enforce rigidity won’t.