Is your office layout bringing your employees down?

Good Day All,

Just read through this article Is your office a downer? the article describes some design tips to maximize employee productivity . It explains that in efforts to reduce costs with desk hotelling and open concepts we sometimes lose site of the people who need to use those spaces to do their jobs.  One of the tips in particular spoke to me, as it’s something I do nearly every day I’m in the office: Going for walks.

I try to move as much as possible, as this helps me think. While normally I take a walk around a nearby park at lunch time, I can usually be found taking a quick stroll around the office to energize myself to work on a project or clear my head before a call. While some might say those are wasted minutes, I feel it increases the quality of my work greatly.

I’d also really like to get a plant, but I’m afraid it’d die.

Do you have tips for your work style or office? Let me know in comments!

Thanks,

–Derek

Is Your Office a Downer? via AutomatedBuildings.com 

Windows 10?

Good Day All,

We finally have some info on the next version of Windows.  Well for those of use (like me) who’ve skipped 8 because it looks so foreign it looks like our patience has paid off. A desktop and a start menu! Of course there’s a host of other features and in upcoming posts I’ll probably talk more about those but for now let’s settle the debate on the 9 skipping. Let me know your thoughts in comments.

Microsoft Windows Boss Elaborates on Decision to Skip Windows 9 via Maximum PC

–Derek

Ten most anticipated business books of the fall

Hello All,

Forbes put out their list of the ten most anticipated books. Check it out here. http://fortune.com/2014/09/18/what-to-read-now/  The only one I’m interested in is Gawande’s Being Mortal. Long time readers will note that I’ve previously reviewed his masterpiece The Checklist Manifesto and really enjoyed it. So I’m looking forward to this one. As for the rest I won’t judge books by their covers however, I just didn’t see much to spark my interest. Do you agree or disagree? let me know in comments.

–Derek

A place for introverts in today’s Open Office concepts

Hello All,

Just read Stuckenberg’s How to create space for introverts in extroverted offices this is an interesting take on a problem I haven’t given much thought to. As an introvert myself, I’d greatly love to have a small place carved out for me when I’m in the office.  It’s surprising how the needs of this group of people, is overlooked when were doing space planning. Check out the article below and let me know you’re thoughts in comments.

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2014/09/create-space-for-introverts-in-extroverted-offices.html?page=all

–Derek

The Making of Karateka Review

Hello All,

During the last week I finished reading Jordan Mechner’s The Making of Karateka it’s his journal from roughly late 1982 – 1985. It focuses on his time at Yale in which he created the eponymous Karateka video game which is the precursor to his famous Prince of Persia video game. I had previously read The Making of Prince of Persia, his journals from 1985 – 1993. Most important to keep in mind is that this is excerpts form his diary, there is no accompanying narrative. Which I feel is a weakness, but a bit more on this later. For what it is, it’s a very fascinating insight into a young artist life, you get a real feel for his angst and desire in finishing the project while trying to balance a full time college career and of course a young man’s social life.

I am grateful to him for releasing such a personal viewpoint to these times in his life. You’ll find a lot of 80’s nostalgia as he writes about seeing films such as Raiders of the Lost Arc for the first time and through the [now classic] video games he plays.  Where the work lacks is that there is no additional narrative – he mentions people and events to which have little context or meaning to the reader. Although this doesn’t ruin the story it would have improved the experience.  For example there many instances where he says he “DRAX[ed]” something – using Google I was able to find an interview where he explains that there  is program he made called DRAW and to increment the version he changed the last letter (i.e. W to X).  Although that was by chance, there are other events where you’re at the mercy of the limited description.  I should add that The Making of Prince of Persia also doesn’t have a narrative but does a better job of standing on it’s own.

All things considered, it’s a wonderful insight in the mans mind and ethos and a must read to any one interested in video game production or just looking for a bit nostalgia.

Available at Jordanmechner.com and Amazon.com

–Derek

Checklist Manifesto Review

Hello All,

Just finished Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I know from the title it sounds like a geek book, but it’s a very fascinating look into how a simple device – the checklist – can greatly improve the quality of ones work. And yes, checklist as in Step 1, Step 2 etc. nothing more complex than that. As a surgeon most of the examples center around medical use, buy Gawande does an excellent job of bringing in business examples as well as examples from aviation where checklists are most notably used.

In the end checklists take time to develop and are always meant to be works in progress, but the gains from using them far outweigh the costs in time to develop and implement.  Again, a great read, not too heavy – if you’re looking for something light, informative and interesting go ahead and check this one out.

Available at Amazon.com

–Derek

Gamepads for Business?

Good Day Readers,

I came across this article on LifeHacker Using A Gamepad for Serious Business. In the post it describes a photographer who uses a gamepad for culling which adds a measure of fun to an otherwise boring process. As we all know making tasks fun leads to gains in productivity. This got me thinking – How could I use a gamepad to control some aspects of my day job. Sounds like a future software project to work on!

–Derek