I moved into a new office on Tuesday, in our San Francisco building, and I’m really happy with it. I’ve been back and forth between the Mountain View headquarters and here a few times, and I’ve lost count of all the different cubes and offices I’ve had. Easily more than 20, across at least 8 buildings. No joke. Happily, this is one of the best I can remember. I think I’ll keep it for a while.
I actually have a good home office. Simple layout, nice library desk, big monitor for screen real estate, sheltered from noise and activity. It even has a proper ball instead of a chair, since that’s how I roll. (…sorry.)
Even so, it never really stuck. I always preferred going in to work, distractions and all. I used to claim it was the latency, but I kept going in even after I switched from working remotely with emacs server to shells in emacs and sshfs, which got rid of the per-keystroke round trips in editing files and command lines. If it wasn’t the latency, then what?
This new office made the answer blindingly clear: natural light. I love natural light, and for good reason. It doesn’t need to be bright – it actually shouldn’t be – but my home office is dark. All it has to offer is small, frosted glass windows and weak overhead incandescent bulbs. It feels like a cave. I’m down for that sometimes, but not often.
The light in the new office is great. Big windows on two sides, steady light throughout the day, no direct sunlight. Plus, a big, green, deciduous tree fills the view out the window I face. I love that. Throw in a few small desk lamps, and it feels like a cool autumn afternoon at a lake house. Quiet, relaxed, breezy, contemplative. Perfect.
Sure, the latency is a bit better, the screen real estate is a bit bigger, and spending core hours with my team in person is a must. I like them, too, which doesn’t hurt. Still, the office is a big draw. I’m psyched to hang out in it more.