08/10/2014 Felipe Menhem

What is the best environment for learning?

If you are entering this world now, I would like to highlight that Quartz is a reference that I greatly appreciate. As I was searching for a specific story on the site, I came across this one, which has a title that seems to be a bit too confident: “How to create the perfect environment to boost creativity”.

This article talks about an American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and the environment he created at La Paix in Baltimore, during the period when Zelda, his wife, was going through schizophrenia treatment at a local clinic.

While at La Paix, Fitzgerald worked in dark, disheveled rooms with a bottle of gin in a nearby drawer. He took short walks and came back to hand-write his ideas on notepads scattered on his desk.

The discussion reaches an interesting point: environments with dim lighting and a bit noisy can – lo and behold –promote creativity. And a bit of alcohol can accelerate problem solving and decision making. Interesting, huh?

Of course, it’s not a rule. However, it made me think of that cultural and creative diversity topic once again. Some people may work perfectly in an environment with profound silence, while others perform better with a little noise around them. I have already noticed that sometimes I can work better at a cafe or in an environment where people have moderate conversations around me. That does not mean I want to be bothered, but the feeling of having someone around helps me.

With the current co-working, remote work and “decompression room” trends in companies, I can imagine that the great challenge within organizations is understanding that people do not necessarily have to be at their desks-or even sharing the same space – in order to be productive.

When we consider these aspects from a learning perspective, it is safe to say that organizations try to understand the different models, locations, and learning environments. A previously established environment is not always the best and most effective. Some may learn better on their way from or to home, or at a café or bar. Understanding these peculiarities can be key to ensuring a successful learning solution.

Let’s explore this more in the next few weeks.

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