- Published: Monday, 01 April 2019 14:03
- Written by Gail Vallance Barrington
Another in Our Continuing Series on Consulting After 50
I recently met a young woman who is writing her first novel while sitting on the sofa babysitting her nephew who was watching TV. I have news for her—she is losing out on two fronts. She isn’t multi-tasking the way she thinks because her brain is bouncing back and forth from her laptop to the TV to her nephew. In fact, multi-tasking, especially involving different forms of media, results in decreased cognitive control and more socio-emotional difficulties. Secondly, similar to an open-plan office, her busy family room is reducing her productivity and negatively affecting her memory. Open-plan offices make people sick, hostile, unmotivated, and insecure, according to Susan Cain, champion of introverts.
What Consultants Say
Several of the consultants over 50 that I interviewed made their home office a priority. Bob Lahey had a plan in mind and when he and his wife downsized to a condo, he said, Okay, I want an office, a real office, and a place that is comfortable. Gesturing to the large sunny window behind him, he continued, [It] is actually a great area to work in and I really enjoy it.
Martha Brown also gave it a lot of thought:
Where are you actually going to do your work? And how can you set that up so that you can focus and be as effective as you need to? ...I remodeled my home office last year and created this incredible, beautiful workspace and am surrounded by my hummingbirds, beautiful colors, and openness.