This week, the Oregon members of my organization within HR had a big moment: we moved. From a small leased building with a few hundred employees, no cafe, and parking right outside the door to a large, redesigned building with several business groups and parking spots a few hundred feet from the door, this was a pretty significant change. Normally, I’m pretty adaptable and versatile and generally do well with change. But I found myself having some apprehension and anxiety about the new move–and it’s only day two. There are two ways to approach change that you can’t influence or prevent: you fight like hell, kick and scream and waste a lot of time and energy on being resistant, or you can embrace it, find the beauty in it and grow and evolve. I’m trying to do the latter. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
One of the biggest changes for me is in my actual work environment–not just the building but my cube, or lack there of. I went from my photo-covered, table with two chairs, four-drawered cube to a mobile workstation. There are several mobile pods around the building and I can work at any of them: there is a monitor, outlets, a phone (where I can sign in with my own number) and adjustable desks at each station. While saying goodbye to my photo shrine and food drawer and post-it covered monitor was tough, I knew this was an opportunity for me to change the way that I worked. I had gotten attached to “stuff” and I figured it was time to make a clean break. Am I loving it? I’m not sure. But like all changes, it will take some time getting used to and I’ll soon find my own rhythm and tempo. Since I started at Intel, I had sat in the same cube with most of the same people in the same building–I didn’t know any different. This change would also give me a chance to recognize my own preferences and work style to find how I would work best.
Here’s a before and after of my cube from last week when I started to pack:
And here’s my new workspace:
There are more pictures of the building, cafe, lobbies, etc. Check out our Flickr set with pictures I captured from the move!
Right off the bat, there was a huge difference in the work environment, amount of light and visibility and availability of people around you. Yes it’s a little bit, okay, a LOT bit, louder than my old office, but as we adjust to our new surroundings, we’ll adjust to the noise level and people around.
What kind of work environment do you look for?
Social Opportunity, not Anxiety
It started off as social anxiety, but I’m starting to see it as social opportunity. I like people, but I can get overwhelmed. All of the HR employees in Oregon, with the exception of those who directly support the business groups, have relocated to this building. This means that meetings that were once held over the phone can now take place in person in a conference room. On your way to the cafe, you might find yourself waiting in line next to the VP. As you drive around looking for a parking spot, you might find yourself parking next to a colleague who moved on to a different team. I felt a little anxious at first–that’s a lot of people who might run into on any given day in any given situation, but I soon came to realize the opportunity behind it. Small talk, chance encounters and mundane tasks can now become grounds for a larger conversation, capacity building and even more simply put, a chance to put a face to a name and voice. You’ve read all the posts that exist around networking so I don’t need to tell you how important it is. Even though networking is available through online channels, nothing will ever beat an in-person face-to-face encounter. Just yesterday I was catching up with a friend who had moved onto a different work group and he was telling me how he was looking for a connection to our new employee program, a program that I recently became involved with. If we hadn’t moved or run into each other over lunch, this conversation might not have happened. Collaboration was already happening!
In a moving world, change is inevitable. It challenges you, it keeps you on your toes and sometimes, okay–most of the time, it’s for the better. Change is going to come your way whether you like it or not: instead of focusing on the change, I suggest you figure out how to best deal with it to emerge victorious on the other end. How do you deal with change?