The open office can become a constructor of identity. It is what philosopher Michel Foucault calls ‘heterotopia’. A concept in human geography to describe places and spaces that functions in non-hegemonic conditions. Places and spaces that possess no authority or domination over others. Places and spaces that offer you an important philosophy, it proposes true choices.
These leaderless places and spaces are a comprehensive web of many themes: happiness, sadness, loneliness, voyeurism, compassion, melancholy, inclusiveness and even exclusiveness and many other complex leitmotifs. Because of this, your identity changes; never in a state of stand still.
You cannot stay in one place or space nor is it is recommendable. So you move from table to table, chair to chair, space to space. Consequently, you change from one identity to another. While your micro-movements are always subtle and uninformed, they are always with purpose and choice.
A choice in the open office can bring the virtuous and unscrupulous behaviors to its occupiers. Your place and space can become a small suffocating island. You can become lazy, careless. Cue, a Peter Gibbon quote. You can be utterly pre-occupied with yourself in unhelpful ways, if you decide to. You can place yourself in constant drama in your head: collisions, swirls and frictions. Human life becomes frustrating. You would begin to remember the agitation of the here and now. As aforementioned, depressive themes can arise in your place and space. Everything becomes unearthed from the darkness and deviously focused. Are you now a poison to others? Are you just prancing and finding ways to stay afloat in the politics of the office?
Choices are important in the open office. You can make the ultimate choice for the open office to be a haven of chaotic order. It can be where your heart is when you truly accept and respect its powerful enigmatic quality. You can finally discover your great potential, create creative cosmoses, impress humankind through kindness and ultimately, grow. You can start to entangle nodded feelings and ideas. Like Andrew Carnegie once said, “my heart is in the work”. It is our true hearts that can bring insight and light when you make the right choices.
One should not call for optimistic or pessimistic reading of the open office. But to admit that it offers you and everyone in it, true choices. Choices of becoming a Gibbon or a Carnegie. Choices that would mend you or break you. Choice that would have you stand in the light or hide in the darkness. Once you do this, not only that it offers physical health but as importantly, sanity. You will finally and greatly make progress with yourself.