Working environment

Singapore 12th June 2013

What is the most conducive work environment? I guess we all know the extremes from workers locked up in a factory with only one exit (we have seen what happened in Bangladesh and China recently) to the Google-esque work environments where you determine yourself how much time you spent in the office…provide works get done. The type of work naturally is of great influence and I am of course reflecting on the work environment related to our profession of being a lighting designer, a creative type of work. I have always been a great promoter of a balanced private and work life, in other words making sure that family life is in balance with work life. Work should not be a “prison” where your every move is watched and controlled and every minute has to be accounted for. Even in our lighting industry there are such bosses…they don’t trust their staff, they are paranoid about control…I know of and have worked with such people…it is not a relaxed environment and you definitely don’t get the best out of your staff, let alone yourself as you are consumed by trying to control and manage your staff. But the point is, if you don’t trust (and respect) your staff how do you want them to trust (and respect) you? Of course trust/respect has to be earned, both ways, agreed, but you can monitor and build in check points in terms of deliverables and performance along the way. You don’t need to monitor all email traffic; install cctv camera’s (no kidding I know companies who do that to monitor their staff!); ban all internet chats or access and restrict work responsibilities. Responsible staff will not abuse the system, on the contrary, you will find them great partners in building and growing your company. At least in the relatively small company set up that we have as lighting designers…Staff who take shortcuts, are found out soon enough, staff who put in the extra mile without you asking are the confirmation that you are doing things right and my personal experience is that you achieve that by giving them your trust from the outset. On top of that you will find that the ambitious ones will profile themselves automatically and those who are just happy to work with you deliver above expectation. At least that is my experience…

Light Watch 4-104: Here are some Google offices from around the world…lighting and interior ambiance play a big role

12. June 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting applications, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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