When in 2007 we searched for an office to house our first company we found a small typical greek, corner shop in a northern suburb of Athens. Prior to us, it was used as an office for two very heavy smokers. The walls and even the windows were covered by a yellow tint.

I have always been off a minimal mindset. “The less you invest upfront the less you can go wrong” is I am afraid somehow ingrained in me, as a byproduct of my rather conservative worldview (Over the years I have come to understand when this tendency is seriously hindering me and I have managed to somehow restrict it).

Nevertheless in 2007 my first reaction to a proposed renovation of the new office - nothing fancy, a paint job and flooring - was rather dismissive. With very little work experience back then, the connection between environment, tools and productivity hadn’t occur to me. Thank god I was convinced otherwise.

Now 12 years later, I have participated in at least 4 major office changes. The current Skroutz offices cover 2500 square meters over three floors.

Obviously my worldview has changed quite a bit since then.

Plato argues that beautiful objects have a really important function. They invite us to evolve in their direction, to become as they are. In his book “Keep going” Austin Kleon calls it a Bliss Station. Build an environment where you feel comfortable creating.

The impact of our surroundings into what we are creating and what we strive for is undeniable.

Over the last months I have tried working from home. A small desk inside our bedroom. My day was a constant struggle to not break my concentration, since my home invited me to do things you usually do at home. Clean, cook, relax etc. But not something work related though.

It was so hard that after some time I decided it is easier to work, out of a local coffee shop. Distractions there are minimised by the lack of things to do. The same lack though is constraining creativity. You cannot step up to a whiteboard, stretch you legs without everyone looking at you, talk with your coworker about a tough problem.

So I cannot work from home. I cannot really work from a coffee shop. I can’t find a co-working space in southern Athens (anyone any recommendations?). Back to square one it is then?