As I sit here at the Lyft Hq in San Francisco, I find myself in complete happiness. It could be because I went rock climbing and did yoga this morning, but more likely because this environment! I just saw a guy walk his dog into the office, another guy with a bike onward to the bike rack. People are filtering in through the kitchen to make free food. There is a film crew here filming I have no idea what – one of the girls is apparently dressed as a chicken farmer. Another woman is piling bacon into a cooler? Everywhere I look there are people sitting on carpeted stairs, bean bag chairs and other odd forms of seatery having meetings!
Everyone seems free, unabashed, and alive. Hey a dog just came up and licked my hand!
I certainly see what draws people to work at a company like Lyft. I haven’t even been here for 30 minutes and I feel myself wanting to stay. Why is San Francisco typical of this type of work environment? Why haven’t other companies caught on and shifted the way they do things?
My work environment is the opposite of San Francisco freedom. It is stale, traditional, and downright lonely. Everyone is cooped up in an office. The folks who have been working at the company for over fifteen years get their window. That leaves me with leftovers – a box in the middle of the building with white walls. I’ve done what I can to spruce it up like installing my own mini golf course. But, I’m the only one who gets to enjoy it.
How can I bring some of this vibe and energy into my office…I honestly don’t think it’s possible. To be fair, I work in an area where there are numerous laboratories. Security is like Fort Knox – intellectual property protection and all of that. Aside from that, my company is so rooted in their ‘old school’ ways that anything that is different is considered outlandish and discouraged.
I need to find a way to feel free in my office or it’s going to bury me. Buy a beanbag chair? No. Work remotely? Much more plausible. Then, I would be able to create my own environment.