An interesting opportunity presented itself on day three working remote from Portland, Oregon. Day one I enjoyed a sunny working experience in a Nob Hill apartment in Northwest downtown Portland. Day two I worked at the Nike world headquarters in Beaverton, OR in the morning and a Panera Bread in the afternoon. And now, day three brings a very new type of environment – an open, collaborative, and FREE work space in downtown Portland.

Collective Agency was my office for the day.  To enter the work space, I approached a somewhat abandoned looking building at 8:15am and rang the intercom bell. I was greeted with a cheery “Good Morning, Come on up”. I waved good-bye to my boyfriend, who was a little hesitant to let me disappear into a nameless building, and climbed the stairs to Collective Agency.

George welcomed me and told me to pick a desk/workspace, enjoy my day and to help myself to coffee and snacks in the kitchen area. I confirmed that the Wi-fi was in fact free, still a little unbelieving, and George responded with a smile and said, “Absolutely.”

After a few hours of working and a walkthrough of their facilities, I jotted down my assessment of the work environment:

•  Free workspace: check!
•  Free Wi-fi: check!
•  Food/beverages: coffee available – self serve, community kitchen/fridge
•  Comfort : plenty of space, Herman Miller chairs, large desks
•  Noise level: low (in turn, I became a little voice-level conscious when on conference calls)
•  Atmosphere: friendly, bright, natural light
•  Overall Rating: A-

The only downside of the space – a little too quiet for my liking. I was on several conference calls throughout the day, and even though collaboration was welcomed, I still felt like the loud newbie. Aside from that, I was impressed with the quality of the space, and (if Portland were to be permanent residence) could see myself working there often.

I brought a few of our products with me but the Blackwire 420 (a corded, USB headset) turned out to be the All-star of the day – conference calls and music, both in an immersive, comfortable headset – I was a happy camper.

I can’t help but to compare the environment at Collective Agency to our newly remodeled workspace here at Plantronics. Reminiscent in terms of natural light and encouraged collaboration, but as a whole, not nearly and modern, energetic or dynamic.

I feel lucky being able to work remote, but as it’s often the case when you return from a trip or vacation, it’s good to be home and return to our new work space here at Plantronics.