The open-plan office and your soul?
CreatedFriday, 11 April 2014
Last modifiedThursday, 18 December 2014
Revised byJean du Plessis
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Is sharing office space better or worse for your peace of soul-mind? This question seems to come up quite often, probably because the answer really depends on the individual and the particular group with whom one is sharing.
City folk learn to screen out other peoplea and to see people selectively. They learn to not care about you because they dont have mind space for you and your issues. We can do the same when we share space at work, but is it healthy?
First off we must clarify. The question whether it is good for one's body-mind to share space is a matter under debate in the foeld of sociology. The question whether it is good or bad for us, the soul is a matter for debate here, and thats what we talk about.
A knee-jerk answer to the question is that it depends on who we share with. A spiritual jackass may exude a particularly disruptive aura, or a spiritually needy person may be a soul-vampire that sucks you dry whenever you engage him/her just to be nice.
Such proximity to others make for growth and test opportunities which may be welcomed by travelers along the Way. However, do we want that every day, for eight hours?
Makes sense to think that one needs regular breaks from others in close proximity in the office, just to maintain one's soul-mind sanity. Makes sense to petition the employer to create a sanctuary where you can recharge and cleanse. However, you will most probably be sharing your sanctuary with a praying Judaist, a Moslem washing his feet and chanting, the Wayist fellow burning insence and the Theravadin holloring out curses to the demons.
So what do we do? Are we better off alone in sound-proof cubicles or seperate offices, or in open-plan offices?
As we ponder this matter we must take cognisance of the fact that big city life itself is a major soul challenge and that sharing office workspace is different from sharing manual labor workstations.