the negative image of the home office has shattered. The past few years
of "creative" officing, corporate overhead off-loading, communications
technology breakthroughs, as well as long-standing usage by consultants,
architects, and other professionals, have brought about the recognition
of home offices as positive, productive workplaces and environments, and
not just within the U.S. While most of us are not "making millions the
easy way — with a home computer" as infamous spam e-mails tout, the numbers
are growing around the globe. "Eurescom forecasts [home office] workers
by 2005 to reach 20.4 percent in Finland, 25.2 percent in the Netherlands,
12.6 percent in Germany, 11.7 percent in the U.K. and ... as many as 30
million workers in the U.S. by the end of 2004."1
thumbnails for full-size images]
Peter Drucker states
that in the information age, "Knowledge is the resource of the new economy
and society."2 In such a knowledge-driven
world, many have found the opportunity to return to a more holistic life
of work at home, a return barely possible for over 200 years of the production-oriented
Industrial Age. The office design needs of workers who can work anywhere
more closely resemble those of artists and writers of the past 200 years
than corporate office workers of today. Drucker defines knowledge workers
as those "who 'own' their knowledge and take it with them wherever they
go." Knowledge workers need right-brain and left-brain stimuli in order
to generate knowledge from the information they scan, read, absorb, assimilate,
The "built environment"
is the physical landmark and support system for all our human activities.
Magazine articles that display and discuss home office designs rarely clarify
how those designs provide support to this new knowledge worker — represented
here by the home office worker. Nearly all home office workers use a computer,
printer, phone, fax, and other machines. It's not difficult to place the
machines within a 6-foot circle of reach by minimal chair rolling so that
the usual multi-tasking (printing while computing and on the phone) can
take place. Less known are the differences — the crucial, peripheral, work-related
activities that make each long, lone day at a computer productive — and
what in the built environment makes those activities possible. To discover
what knowledge has been gained by others, I interviewed several information
professionals, a full-time corporate telecommuter, and several architects.
Among them, three-quarters have been highly successful home office workers
for 5 to 15 years and two of them for over 30 years. Following are highlights
of their office designs and ways of working at home.
September 11 reminded
many of us of our deep connections with each other, our profound need for
a vibrant living environment, and the importance of living fully now. But
many of us live in featureless, bland spaces, some stem from responding
to advice from realtors who fear any negative effects on the resale value
of homes. Perhaps we can tolerate uninspiring environments if we only come
home to sleep in them, but for living and working from the home, environments
represent a near complete denial of our psychological needs and well-being.
When lack of attention
and engagement happen in classrooms, University of Victoria, British Columbia,
psychologist Robert Gifford calls it "environmental numbness."3 When
inattention happens in the home office, productivity suffers. Color, regarded
by many designers as a modifier of behavior, remains a topic of disagreement
between experts. Some believe that it influences behavior, others put a
finer line on it. In a report for NASA, Western State University professor
and human factors researcher, Jim Wise reported, "We need to use color
because of what we want it to do."4
paint color specialist Linda Trent relates, "In previous years, the most
popular paint colors for home interiors were the neutrals — off-white,
eggshell, and the beiges." However, she quickly points out, "The trend
now is towards more bold usage of interior paint colors."5 [view
photo] She credits the influence of the many home
decorating magazines and TV shows, such as Trading Spaces, for entertaining
viewers with the bold leaps of designers' creative solutions.
Photos of the
Rocky Mountains, taken by information professional, book author, well-known
speaker, and avid jogger, Mary Ellen Bates, add essential natural environment
views to her urban Washington, D.C., office. [view
photo] Located above her garage and designed
by architects Barnes, Vanze and Associates[http://www.barnesvanze.com],
the office has a nearly continuous counter work surface on two walls, under
which she can easily move the chair, the waste basket, shredder, and the
printer on a rolling base. The work surface is wonderfully thought-out
for many of her activities, such as computing, sorting, compiling, assembling,
and writing. It also provides a large area for her two dogs to vigilantly
monitor for signs of dog walks.
A favorite color
and one that fits in with the age and design of her home — federal blue
— gives character to the room's carpet and work surface. Adding to the
concealed light fixtures in the ceiling, a skylight and window filter natural
light and partial views of tall trees and buildings. If she had room, Mary
Ellen says she would love to add a cozy chair in a reading corner. When
the backyard patio door is open, she can hear a small waterfall in the
fishpond. A true nature lover, like Mark Twain in his "Octagon Studio"
at Quarry Farm in Elmira, New York, Mary Ellen loves the tumultuous sound
of the rain on her tin roof during a thunderstorm, even if she can't hear
anyone on the phone during the downpour. It is "a luxurious connection
to the natural environment," says Mary Ellen.
to our future development as a species will depend on how well we understand
the relationship between the left side and right side of our associative
The home office is
a place where individualized work processes drive the organization or placement
of various technologies — fax, scanner, computer, monitor, printer, shredder,
copier, land phone, DSL router/modem, answering machine, uninterrupted
power supply unit, CD-ROM burner, and other peripherals. It also serves
as the physical landmark location from which some of your highest mental,
emotional, and spiritual connections are made to others — through communication
technologies and through your work. A well-designed home office reflects
goals, dreams, work, and thought processes — both sides of the brain.
When planning for
humans living in space at the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture,
researchers focused on the needs of environmental factors "Variety is important
to prevent boredom and depression. Means to change and personalize the
appearance of interior areas and incorporate color and interest into the
surroundings will be helpful."6
Color in a home
office can be inspired by natural surroundings — such as the sky or a lake
or the ocean or a forest — such as architect Richard Hobbs, FAIA, and his
wife, Lynne, have through separate office windows in their island cabin
home tower in Roche Harbor, Washington. [view
photo] The tall fir trees frame the views of
sky and water — bringing an ever-changing color palette to their second-
and third-floor workplaces. And, mirroring the evergreen of the firs outside
are dark-green-stained walls that join a light-painted corrugated metal
curved wall. "The dark-green stained walls were Lynne's suggestion and
they are a wonderful continuation of the fir trees outside" relates Richard.
The effect of the curved wall with texture and color enlivens the small
offices on separate floors. There is a timeless quality to the energy in
the mix of indoor with outdoor.
On the floor
below, Lynne's office receives more light. Her thrift-store find, a glass-topped
wrought-iron table, functions as a desk and makes the room look larger
and more spacious. A long, low wooden bench acts as an additional work
surface that Lynne uses for sorting and organizing client seminar materials.
On the floor above, sitting in his father's wooden chair at his desk, Richard
has everything within reach that he uses on a regular basis. "I envisioned
being in the trees, and the isolation of the office contrasts well with
working several days each week with clients nationwide," says Richard.
The cabin-like office design is made more efficient and inviting by bookshelves
over the windows. Richard says he didn't intend the offices to look homey
— "It just happened."
on professional work yet housed within a family setting, the home office
presents the need for social boundaries with family members in terms of
time management and physical boundaries that control physical access and
provide acoustic and visual separation. The home office worker soon learns
that social boundaries between family and office life are fluid and must
constantly be balanced or the circumstances changed. Some homes have too
much noise as a result of children at home, or the design of the home,
such as experienced by editor of ONLINE magazine, Marydee Ojala.
"In our open-plan home, phone conversations produced too much sound and
disturbed other family members — so I moved my office into a building downtown
where other sole proprietors have offices."
distractions are the primary boundaries that home office workers need to
identify and delineate in the placement of the office. The second bedroom
converted into a home office is often a blessing in disguise, since most
bedrooms are positioned in the quietest part of a home and have solid doors.
Dens and libraries in some homes may not be as ideal as one would think,
because of the noise and activity in adjacent areas. Those with children
probably need an office away from the centers of activity — usually the
kitchen and living or family room — to avoid interruptions and distractions
(visual, aural, and physical). Contrary to popular assumptions, home officing
is not an ideal way to stay home and take care of (young) children while
working, unless you can schedule your time for working while the children
sleep at night. If you plan to work and have children around, you may even
need the Brady Bunch approach and hire an "Alice" or a nanny/housekeeper/cook
so you can concentrate on your work. (Remember? The father was an architect
and worked out of a home office.)
upon the home office worker to "manage" interruptions by the physical placement
of the office in the home — or elsewhere. You may need "close-able," securable
doors and advanced communication devices. As Herbert Muschamp of TheNew
York Times put it, these have become "more than information tools.....they
are defensive weapons that secure private space against untimely invasion."7
more adaptable to home office workers. According to author and information
professional, Sheri Lanza, "I can close the door when I need to concentrate
and my family respects that." Everything used on a regular basis lies within
reach — a result of careful planning before the installation of her office
built-in cabinets. All the multi-tasking technologies are close and organized.
Diffuse ceiling and task lighting provide plenty of illumination to the
work surfaces, but Sheri wishes the window placement had worked out better
in the office. A tackboard surface gets a lot of use with lists of frequently
used industry keywords and jargon, lists of passwords to databases, a calendar
made by one of her daughters, and humorous cards. Sheri says that her office
isn't that different than any corporate office she's worked in, but that
she works better within the quiet space. At times, having a good friend
to "tether you back to reality when you need it" is crucial to making it
speaks to the social stress brought by ubiquitous communication technologies
in his latest book, The Ingenuity Gap: "Many of us feel that new
information technologies have in some ways increased the unpredictability
of, and decreased our control over, our daily lives ... becoming (a) major
contributor to stress.... As our electronic groups expand beyond that threshold
of 150 (persons), the meaningfulness of our relationships degrades, our
ability to adequately monitor and predict the behavior of group members
declines, and stress inexorably increases."8
Society has long
accepted the ramifications of the distant office building, the central
workplace with its mass commute to disparate parts of cities and towns
for work and the commute back to a house for reconnecting with family.
The commute, however, has become an ever-increasing physical gulf between
work and social or family life, with 2-hour commutes each way not uncommon.
Family life has suffered from this disconnect, and, if we are brave enough
to admit it, workers have both suffered and gained from the disconnect.
As a society, we have largely lost our connection to rhythms of natural
life, of solitude, of concentrated focus, and of meaningful relationships
not devoted to communication as the only means of connection. Focused more
on technological advances and still young as a culture, we Americans have
probably begun to focus more on incorporating family into our work lives
since September 11, 2001. Europeans have long incorporated work into their
writes in her latest book that housing preferences for two-thirds of 55+
year-old baby-boomers are a "great-room" which functions as a kitchen-living
room, three bedrooms — one of which will be a master bedroom, one a guest
room, and one a home office; and a two-car garage in 1,000 to 2,000 square-feet
of space. 9
Fred Bassetti, FAIA, bought a 500 square-foot houseboat on Portage Bay
at Lake Union in the 1970s. The tiny, one-story place underwent
several design and construction phases, adding a second floor with bedrooms,
a bath, and a utility room. During the second story addition, sculptor
friend Rich Beyer carved whimsical animals into cedar planks that line
the walls. When the need arose for a home office, Fred converted the second
floor utility room into a compact space for himself and included a desk
for his wife. The pitched ceiling and strategically placed windows that
capture sunlight (on those rare, sunny Seattle days) and provide privacy
give a spacious feel to the compact office.
A small window
captures sounds of university rowing team practices on the lake, their
rhythmic calls setting the pace. Inside, the classic student drafting table
— a door, veneered with melamine and set on two deep filing cabinets —
is Fred's worktable — next to a computer workspace. His light-filled space,
textured by rough cedar walls, has a simple boat-cabin feel — with plenty
of room for creative work. However, he notes that every creative person
needs "a good comfortable chair, a cat in the lap beside a crackling fire,
in order to think." Fred's is downstairs in the living room where sets
of patio doors open onto the houseboat deck and the sights and sounds of
and design-filled housing developments (focused on humans rather than cars)
such as Celebration, Seaside, and Watercolor, Florida, are growing in popularity
as people search out a deeper connection to what home looks and feels like
in a people-focused community. Home buyers are searching out and renovating
old "cottages" at an increasing rate. It is shocking to realize the impact
of a seemingly harmless strategy upon design, but one of the most insidious
— designing to allow greater access for the car — has resulted in communities
that look like they are home to cars — not people. Such industrial age
design thinking has just begun to change. Tired of ubiquitous trophy houses
(who needs a trophy house when everyone's got one?), people are downsizing
in order to live in small (1,000-square-foot) homes; and they love them
— because they are finally living in the entire home. The Not-So-Big
House book by author and architect Sarah Sussanka has led the way,
proving that living small is in many ways more elegant and rewarding than
gross amounts of unused square footage.
behavior is affected by how he perceives the world as well as his biological
makeup — but both are overlaid and shaped through learning."
a large part in the home office of Nancy Lemon, but not to excess. As OwensCorning's
full-time telecommuting Research Library supervisor, managing several full-time
telecommuting librarians for over 5 years, Nancy has implemented several
unorthodox solutions. One — which devils most of the people I interviewed
for this article, including myself from time to time — is what to do with
piles of printed materials, files, folders, articles to read, editing work,
and so on. "I don't worry about filing and always having a neat office;
the key is that I know where everything is and am productive. Spending
an hour each day to file everything away isn't a productive use of my time
Nancy and her
staff handle 2,000 to 3,000 research projects each year, along with a Web-based
library, for OwensCorning. "We found that telecommuting isn't for everyone;
there are behavioral changes involved for employees to make the shift to
working from home. You can't just like to work at home — you have to be
able to produce the work needed and productively handle the stress during
the difficult times to be a successful telecommuter." De-stressing at the
end of the day with her horse is Nancy's re-connection to the natural environment
and key to her perseverance and creative thinking. "What's not easy to
program into a workday" says Nancy, "is unstructured time to think."
Piles of paper
are one of our few tactile connections to computer-based knowledge work.
If you are a tactile person, piles of paper have probably become part of
your mental landmarking and organization of project processes. Perhaps
it is part of our human need to have a tactile, as well as abstract, sense
of accomplishment. Jeff Reushel, the proposal writer for Haworth's 2001
"Workspheres" exhibit at MOMA, the Modern Museum of Art in New York, theorizes
that the arrangement of workspace and artifacts is a representation of
a worker's thought processes and that the "cluttered desk = cluttered mind"
maxim is none other than a cultural belief that robs workers of effectively
using their space10.
economics is merely refining the obsolete. Economic theory is still based
on the scarcity axiom, which doesn't apply to information. When I sell
you a phone, I no longer have it. When I sell information to you, I have
more information by the very fact that you have it and I know you have
it. That's not even true of money."
Founder of Dialog,
Roger Summit — a true renaissance man — alternates between playing tennis
for a physical workout, improvising music on a keyboard, and working on
a book. In a second bedroom, he has two large, U-shaped workspaces: one
for multi-tasking on an old Macintosh with his left hand while simultaneously
using his PC laptop with his right hand. To the rear of this workspace
is another U-shaped workspace for his music keyboard and equipment. [view
photo] A creative thinker, Roger says that
he gets distracted by staying in the same place — so he takes music breaks.
begin a new project, I clear off a nearby bookcase shelf and place all
associated print and media materials — books, videos, papers, and articles
there," says Roger. This way he organizes his thinking, gets a mental map,
and has a physical location devoted to that one project. Roger sorts tax-related
documents on top of the pool table in another room. "For me, a different
environment makes it easier to focus on the only thing I procrastinate
on — taxes."
work productivity is not quantifiable; it is identifiable only by quality.
Finn Bowring, in discussing "Post-Fordism," says "There is a strong case
to be made that the remuneration of labour time is an illogical means of
distributing society's wealth."11 Lacking
the tangible, we need a more holistic right-brain and left-brain design
stimulus approach to knowledge work. We are on the threshold of learning
how knowledge work differs from the work of the Industrial Age. Instinctively
we are moving towards more personalized surroundings as we realize their
stimulus, warmth, and perceptual value.
inspire busy editor and information professional Reva Basch. In a home
office in SeaRanch, California, that for most people would be a resort,
she is highly effective. The colors of the sea, which she finds "centering
and invigorating," accent the office — her chair and artwork. A huge oak
desk given to her by the late information professional pioneer, Sue Rugge,
provides all the horizontal surface she needs to work. Reva came early
to telecommuting while still with a company in the 1980s that was a "huge
cube farm." When it got so noisy that she couldn't think, she'd come home
and work where she could control her own environment; then a good jog and
shower would help refresh her mind and get rid of stress.
The design and
organization of her office has changed since she became a sole proprietor.
No longer needing access to reference books, Reva moved the bookcase into
the hallway outside her office and uses the extra room for a small quilting
projects table. She finds quilting an essential contemplative tactile break
from the mostly virtual knowledge work she's engaged in on the computer
all day. "I find that when I can't seem to solve a problem by thinking
about it, quilting for a while gives me a needed contemplative break and
allows the solution to surface," says Reva.
advance in the history of communications has brought us in closer touch
with people far away from us, but at the expense of insulating us from
those nearest to us."
We and our pre-industrial
age forebears hold several characteristics in common — such as the desire
to control our own lives, efforts, and activities, to reduce stress and
increase job satisfaction, and to ultimately reinforce who we are as physical,
psychological, and spiritual beings. Institutionalized social concepts
of work reinforce industrial age workspace and time boundaries of the "9
to 5" at the office. Bargaining with employers or clients, we organize
activities in terms of time-hours and place which then impacts our personal
relationships. For instance, West Coast consultants with East Coast clients
will soon find themselves getting up 3 hours early to phone-conference.
and cultures share in the unspoken contract and sometimes not. Home officing
is not only a growing trend for the housing industry, architects, and designers,
but is also a social contract made legitimate by economic changes. Shifting
workers to telework from their own homes can be a boon for any company
off-loading real-estate and overhead costs, such as utilities, insurance,
furniture, and security. AT&T estimated in 2002 that it gains an extra
hour of productive work-time from each worker for each day spent in the
home office, which benefits its bottom line by $65 million each year12.
technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to
reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure
place in a portion of reality, in the human community."
can provide not only eye-relief from reading a monitor screen at close
range, but also can be very important to overall eye health. Periodically,
computer users need to focus on something far away — such as a neighboring
volcano. Okay, it's Mount Rainier and a "dormant," snow-capped, 14,410-foot
peak, which you can see when not obscured by near ever-present rain. Architect
and past professor at the University of Washington, Keith Kolb, FAIA, decided
to build his house and top floor design studio in 1963 to take advantage
of the awe-inspiring views. Three walls of windows provide stunning mountain
views: the Cascade Mountains to the east, the Olympic Mountains to the
west, and Mount Rainier to the south.
method of organizing his design work takes advantage of the spacious large
room by dedicating one general task type to four different desks and drafting
tables. One is for contract documents, one for specifications writing,
one for model-building, and the desk for the lone telephone, billing, and
customer records. This organization — for partly physical work as hand
drafting, model-building — is the key to his efficiency. There's no need
to take the drawings off to build a model, nor to file partially written
specifications. There's no wasted effort for the dreaded "neat" look. Over
the course of nearly 40 years, Keith has employed a part-time secretary
to help with the "office" work and to take messages from clients, but largely,
the work continues as it did in the beginning.
innovation for his office came to him one day as the Western sun began
to heat up the office. He thought of a sail — a movable lightweight screen
— similar to the sails of boats out on nearby Lake Washington or Lake Union
— and built like a Japanese Shoji screen. After several material hangs,
he constructed the final "sail" out of canvas in a wooden frame that has
sailed across the floor ever since. It is an elegant solution to the problem
of the temporary harsh afternoon sun.
most people, a good light means only much light. If we do not see a thing
well enough we simply demand more light. And very often we find that it
does not help because the quantity of light is not nearly as important
as its quality."
Like many architects,
Wendell Lovett, FAIA, decided to work from his self-designed home in the
1970s. It's always informative to see potential clients' reactions to his
home office, even if they want the opposite. He says, "Experiencing my
office provides them with points of reference to discuss what they want
and don't want; this office is a working demonstration model." Still designing
today — most recently home offices for CEOs of local major companies —
his work is in great demand.
Steen Eiler Rasmussen
One of the essential
factors for good home office design is to understand the client's work
patterns, work flow, and mind-set. If they are neat and don't want to see
any paper, then filing cabinets and storage must be well-organized to match
the work process. Good lighting is another essential factor. "It's not
the quantity of light that is important — but the quality of light and
whether it's properly illuminating the work."
works creatively — among piles of books and materials waiting to be read,
scanned, replied to, and filed — he has designed high-tech home offices
for some of the most organized and talented technology geniuses of today
who work entirely paper-free. Understanding such varied and demanding client
mind-sets can be challenging, so he refuels his spirit with Baroque music.
human need exists for associations with significant places. If we choose
to ignore that need, and allow the forces of placelessness to continue
unchallenged, then the future can only hold an environment in which places
simply do not matter."
Since September 11,
we have all become more aware of terrorism, which highlights the fact that
some company workers may feel more secure not working on company real-estate.
In Seattle on July 11, 2002, the building that Marsh & McLennan Cos.
Inc. offices in and a separate building several blocks away housing the
Guy Carpenter & Co., Inc. offices were both the targets of a radical
group's smoke bombs. These companies were targeted not because of their
policies or work, but because of the controversial work — animal testing
of products — by of one of their many clients13.
The army-issue smoke bombs didn't cause any deaths, nor injuries, but coming
on the heels of September 11, the psychological, emotional, and physical
stresses were very real. Whether or not security concerns develop into
a trend that works toward decentralizing the workplace remains to be seen.
Experts say that
computer-supported work and social communications will become increasingly
mobile and ubiquitous. The impact upon the design of the built environment
will be substantial as wireless technologies continue to release us from
the corded tethers to wall outlets in homes, while eliminating the very
real security threat of being tapped into by any savvy passersby. The MIT
Home of the Future Consortium predicts that in 2015 "sensor arrays and
digital displays [will be] embedded into most surfaces" and that homes
will continue to try to "anticipate" the needs of its occupants until at
some point, "it begins to fit like a glove," adjusting light for specific
activities ... becoming "a companion of sorts."14
Author and inventor Ray Kurzweil predicts that in 2029 we'll have three-dimensional
input-output visual display implants in our eyes; ubiquitous three-dimensional
projected holographic displays, that $1,000 will buy the computing power
of 1,000 human minds, and we'll have high bandwidth connection implants
installed in our brains' neural pathways15.
Working and living
at home places greater emphasis on the effectiveness of the interior design.
For the past 20 years, many of us have lived in sensory-deprivation chambers
— starved of color, texture, form (such as unique built-ins), pattern,
light, contrast, dimension, and movement. Barbara Richardson of ICI Paints
NA, makers of Glidden and Dulux, says, "Color can be used to provide character
to rooms as well as help solve lighting problems."16 [view
photo] Our human need for design, color, and a
stimulating environment needn't be fulfilled only by yearly trips to Disneyland,
buying paintings and sculptures of quaint places we'd like to live in,
or by climbing the mountains of Glacier National Park. Take a look at the
sales figures of the popular painter and sculptor Thomas Kinkade, who says,
"Art shows us ways to lead a simpler, richer, more satisfying life."17
Sales for Kinkade's cottage paintings, prints, and sculptures grew from
$39.8 million in 1996 to $138 million in 2000. Those numbers point to part
of a growing trend, and a trend always points to a need. We need to design
our built environments to more accurately reflect our lives as they are
and as we want them to be — especially if we work where we live.
Who knows what
our home offices will look like in the future? Or, perhaps the question
should be, who knows where the office will be? Whatever, wherever, hopefully
we will have a better understanding of the necessary inner boundaries that
define the place "work" in our minds and we'll use both the right and left
sides of our brains to find that answer.
Edwards, W. Keith
and Rebecca E. Grinter. At Home with Ubiquitous Computing: Seven Challenges,
Computer Science Laboratory, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, August 15,
Hodgson G.M. Economics
and Utopia: Why the Learning Economy Is Not the End of History, London:
and Work: Negotiating Boundaries Through Everyday Life, Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1996.
and Hirotaka Takeuchi. The Knowledge Creating Company: How Japanese
Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation, New York: Oxford University
Eiler. Experiencing Architecture, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press,
and Placelessness, London: Pion, 1976.
Salaff, Janet W.,
with Kathleen Hoski. "Where Home Is the Office: The New Form of Flexible
Work," Department of Sociology, Centre for Urban and Community Studies,
University of Toronto, 2001.
Space: The Behavioral Basis of Design, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,
and Suzan Lewis. "Home-Based Telework, Gender, and the Synchronization
of Work and Family: Perspectives of Teleworkers and Their Co-Residents,"
Work and Organization, vol. 8, issue 2, 2001, pp.123-145.
"Space and the Intersection of Work and Family in Homeworking," Community,
Work and Family, vol. 3, issue 2, Aug. 2000, pp. 185-204.
Not-So-Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live, Newtown,
CT: Taunton Press, 1998.
"Out of Sight, Out of Mind?: A Virtual Ethnography of Teleworking Careers,"
Paper presented at 6th International ITF Workshop, "Working in the New
Economy: Work-Family Issues" Amsterdam: 2001.
What is so important
about right brain — left brain?
brain dominance refers to the side or hemisphere you primarily use to process
information — whether the end product be to learning or working. Information-processing
can mean utilizing a mathematical formula, creating a project-tracking
flowchart, sketching a building design, or recalling clients' names at
a meeting. While some people definitely are right- or left-brain dominant,
others incorporate a mix of both. Whatever combination or brain side you
use doesn't matter as much as knowing which it is. Then you can use the
self-knowledge to an appropriate supportive environment in your home office
and put yourself on the way to a more productive, enjoyable workday.
Some of the characteristics
— Right Brain
logical — random
sequential — intuitive
analytic — relational
symbolic — tactile
objective — subjective
For more information
about right-brain, left-brain dominance, try these Web sites:
Left vs. Right
— Which Side Are You On?
Dr. Carolyn Hopper,
Learning Strategies Coordinator for the Developmental Studies Department
at Middle Tennessee State University
Find out what your
learning style is with an online test at
Sigmund, Akselsen, ed. Telework and Quality of Life: Basic Concepts
and Main Results, Eurescom Project Report, May 2001.
Drucker, P.F. Post-Capitalist Society, Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann,
Gifford, Robert, University of Victoria, BC, Department of Psychology,
accessed online July 22, 2002.
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