Spaces Founder Martijn Roordink: ‘we need to learn how to hit the off-switch’

Nowadays, the increasing digitalisation provides a challenge for us. We’re often glued to our phones, wanting to be available to everyone 24 hours a day. Clocking a couple of extra working hours at home is considered normal, as is an average screen time of 3 hours and 15 minutes a day, according to The Guardian. Spaces Founder Martijn Roordink advocates we should reduce the pressure of external factors and bring back the element of surprise: ‘As we’re available 24/7, we leave no room for spontaneous behaviour or surprises.’

A true productivity, and moreover, creativity killer, he says. In this blog we shine a light on the founder’s vision on the future of working.

‘We need more surprises’

‘We are basically organising for people to meet’, he says. ‘But the digitalisation and automation are rapidly transforming the way we work today.’ Our cell phones play a huge role in this. The devices are considered one of the main productivity killers in the workplace, but at the same time we’re all yearning for a mindful place to work. Roordink strongly believes that the office environment needs to be more ‘unliked’. With this, he’s referring to the importance of not always being ‘on’ and feeling the pressure of having to respond within three seconds. ‘We need to bring back those elements of surprise,’ he states.

‘An open-floor plan is almost a direct push to burnout’

This element of surprise, in combination with stellar coffees, good (natural) lighting and a five-minute bike ride to the office, with its inspiring design, all contribute to this state-of-mind Spaces is trying to realise. ‘What is better than to be able to hit the off-switch every now and then? We want to create an environment where this is all within reach, without feeling the pressure of external factors.’

Sometimes it’s good to break the habit

‘An open-floor plan is almost a direct push to burnout’, the founder states. ‘You’re continuously exposed to noise – there’s a reason why cubicle workers use noise-cancelling headphones.’ He elaborates: ‘people are creatures of habit; everyone has their own spot on the couch, in bed – the same goes for a dedicated spot at the office: when you walk into the office and someone is in your spot, you’ll be annoyed by it at first. But switching up seats actually boosts your creativity and productivity.’

‘What is better than to be able to hit the off-switch every now and then?

The future of working

When asked about the future and flexibilization of working, Roordink is clear: ‘You know, everyone calls it the work-life balance, but we should call it the work-balance, because that’s actually what it’s all about’, he says. How do you integrate work into your life? In other words: how will you create a balance between sleep, eat, rest and work? ‘You can’t control every little aspect of life, but if you can balance out those four important elements – that’s already 90%.’

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