Last week, I had the fortune to attend Neocon. It is North America's largest interior design conference. It was in Chicago...a Mecca of architecture and interior design.
I was guided through many showroom tours. Usually there a a theme that each show room is promoting. A few years ago it was all about stark white showrooms and integrated technology...austere and impersonal. Now it is about creating spaces where people can bring their own technology. Lounge spaces with sofas, recliners, and perch stools. The spaces look very much like our favorite coffee house. Here's the thing... Because of all the collaboration...people are no longer able to concentrate on tasks that require a focused mind. Multi tasking has caused our brains to become overworked, exhausted and unproductive. What is the solution? Leave the urban environment, buy some acres, and start a lavender farm is my vote. However that may not be practical for some.
Here are some possibilities: 1) Incorporate meditation into your work or home life. It could be something as simple as 5 minutes of Tai Chi in the morning or popping a beginner yoga video in an open area of the office at lunch.
2) Have periods of time at home where no technology is allowed. At the dinner table. Saturdays...be 'in the moment' and don't allow yourself to be distracted by texts and emails pinging in the background.
3) Create quiet concentrative areas where people can concentrate in addition to collaborative areas in the office. This can be a simple as using a vacant office and filling it with sofas and lounge chairs with throw pillows (don't leave out the throw pillows) . Add artwork, tea kettle, and don't forget the lighting. Keep the fluorescents off and bring in some table or floor lamps.
If this does not work, I still vote for the lavender farm.