Telecommuting Update: A thought on creative cycles
More benefits to telecommuting uncovered after several weeks away from my traditional office.
Content provided by Lea Green, PGi Social Media Manager
Article originally published on PGiGreenBlog.
After several weeks of telecommuting, I’ve realized yet another benefit: I’m having fun on the days I work at home. Now, before anyone freaks out and tells my boss that I’m goofing off, let me explain. I’ve noticed that my creative cycle—specifically my writing habit—is more easily expressed and better focused on the days I work from home.
What prompted this insight was the recent scheduled cleaning of the windows at Frost Tower—PGi’s Austin, Texas, headquarters—and the associated noise it created in our offices. Enveloped by windows and flooded with natural light, PGi Austin is truly a pleasant place to work. I understand, of course, that the windows must be maintained in order to keep the sunshine flowing in, and I do admire the talent and derring-do of the man who cleans the outside of our 33rd floor office. Nevertheless, after four hours of constant banging, my nerves were jangled and my focus obliterated. Neither listening to my Pandora playlist cranked up to maximum ear-bud capacity nor relocating to different areas of the office could rejuvenate my creative powers. The window cleaner was effectively kryptonite to my concentration. I had not planned to telecommute that day, but I wished I had; if only the window cleaner and I had coordinated our schedules.
Creative cycles and the need for space
Office environments are full of distractions. Some welcome, some not so much. Casual conversations, the daily barrage of emails and IMs, random office birthdays, facilities maintenance and unscheduled meetings are but a few of the interruptions that can thwart in-depth creativity and strategic thinking. And yet, these skills are vital for the ongoing advancement of our business goals and our own individual careers. By seeking and maintaining solitude in which we can reflect on and cultivate our thoughts, we have more to contribute to our teams and to our projects. And tapping into our own creative resources to produce quality work is not only rewarding for the company, it fosters our aesthetic development and self-satisfaction, which I find to be quite fun.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine passed along some advice on how parents can encourage and nurture the creative impulse within their children, specifically the development of a writing practice. As I read through the well-written, humorous and self-reflective piece, the overriding theme underscored the need for children to have space in which to grow and develop the expression of their imagination each day. Whether you are a child or an adult, you cannot find the space to express yourself or your creativity if you are distracted.
After just over four months, I’ve found that telecommuting two days a week naturally creates a larger cycle of productivity in my work as I recognize and compartmentalize the various tasks I perform. I now arrange my week with creative cycles in mind. When I can, I schedule meetings on days when I am in the office and write while telecommuting, taking advantage of the quiet blocks of time more readily available in my home office. By managing my energy and finding ways to bundle it according to my schedule and my environment, I am better able to prepare myself for the responsibilities that lie ahead. Instead of resisting or resenting my environment, I can work with it and develop a healthier, happier, and more productive balance between performance and renewal.
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