Secretly, I’m Very Judgemental

When I first started here, business trips sounded like an absolute delight. You get to basically go on holiday, the company pays for it, and it’s not like you’re expected to work 24/7. You do work and business stuff during the day wherever you are, and then you go back to your free hotel at night, eat something from the minibar (again, you don’t pay for it) and then have fun around a new place. Did I mention? It’s ALL FREE.

And then you start getting sent on more of them, with workmates you don’t overly like, you can’t go out with anyone because all your friends are in another city and you don’t know anything about where you are, the coffee tastes different, the water tastes different, I can’t bring my Y-Box because the company won’t pay for the extra luggage and the hotel only has a tiny TV anyway, and you really just want to be home sometimes, basically.

So I occupy myself. I like to think I’m decent at design, and I know a few places in town that employ some of the best office designers Melbourne has to offer. It’s nice to see so many different offices all around Australia. I see so many of them, and sometimes multiple on the same trip, so I’ve developed quite the system. I rate them based on water cooler position, freedom of movement, colour scheme, artwork and general attitude towards optimising the workspace for the mental well-being of the employees. That last one can really tank the ratings, even if the rest of them are semi-okay. Office fitouts are a subtle art, a lot more subtle than you might think. Plenty of people just can’t do them at all.

But I think we do pretty well here. At least, if I visited a bunch of offices, then I wouldn’t be itching to leave them the number of a really good office fitout company. Melbourne is starting to get a reputation for having some of the best int he industry and I must agree. Then again, I’ve seen the designs of offices in Canberra and some of those are drab city.