“Where Is My Office?” by Chris Kane
Paradigm shifts operate by their own schedule. The last twenty-five to thirty years has transformed the concepts of physical workspace, connections between co-workers, management/employee relations, and workplace communication in a myriad of unanticipated ways. Chris Kane’s book Where Is My Office? Reimagining the Workplace for the 21st Century is brief and packs an informative wallop certain to enlighten readers and hold their attention with an amiable direct prose style. Kane wisely eschews addressing his audience in a high handed manner and, instead, the book comes across as an extended speaker presentation.
Kane, naturally, goes into much more depth than he would during a speaker engagement. His work with the Walt Disney Corporation and the BBC setting a direction for their real estate interests gives him a depth of knowledge in the area of work environments few others can match. The thirty plus years of answering the workplace needs of major businesses and appreciating how structure and environment influence professional success. There are numerous aspects of the “office” experience Kane explores throughout the course of Where Is My Office? Kane focuses his energies towards illuminating the trajectory of developments in the workplace and makes effective use of his own professional experiences to reinforce his points.
His ideas have equal application, as well, for smaller businesses. The continued evolution of the modern office will not leave any organized entity untouched and the lessons Kane has learned during his career have value for leaders and decision makers of every stripe. The book, however, has an admittedly limited audience. Some non-fiction books allow readers the luxury of wide-spanning relevance rather than only bearing fruit within a restricted context. Non-professionals will have little interest in this book.
Kane deserves ample credit for examining a wide-ranging topic within a short book. Refusing to belabor his ideas keeps the book moving at a bracing clip and it is difficult, if not impossible, to quibble with his reasoning. The lack of any sideshows or self-indulgence, despite interjecting his personality into the text reflects his commitment to serving interested readers with this book. He’s offering a pointed, personable, and no frills book for his target audience.
An unexpected delight in reading the book is the narrative qualities he brings to his experiences with the BBC and Walt Disney. The dramatic edge he captures with these passages complements its relevance to the subject; his answer to the challenge of the BBC converting their operations from analogue to digital illustrates many points Kane attempts to make during the course of Where Is My Office? It is far from gratuitous.
It isn’t difficult to see Chris Kane will have more to say about this subject as our world continues to change. His commitment to answering the challenges such changes present is equally clear. Where Is My Office? Reimagining the Workplace for the 21st Century will cast a significant shadow, however, for some time to come and likely prove invaluable to many. He has written a durable and informative book demanding your attention, but never too much of your time for minimal payoff.