People like dry erase boards, there’s something pretty cool about them. They’re a favorite staple of TV and movie writers and directors. They’ll have every scientist, investigator or artist write on some form of dry erase wall covering. Sometimes it’s not even a wall; instead it will be a sandwich board, or a special finish piece of glass. There are a few reasons for this trope, the most obvious of which is that if the characters write in big letters on the wall, we the audience can easily see it from the camera’s perspective. However, there is a real world side to this where scientists will cover every wall and surface in an office in dry erase paint to make everything a dry erase board. That way people can take cover the walls, ceilings, and even the furniture with their work and it enables collaborative thinking.
Dry erase wall coverings make it so that anyone can turn any wall in their house into a work or play area. The Hollywood application is always for thinking and strategizing. Scientists will work on complex bits of calculus and get a brain storm creating an entire equation out of air. In reality what people like about dry erase wall coverings is that it allows them to take a step back from their work and see how everything fits together. When you’re mind mapping an idea or working on a flow chart it sometimes helps you notice a really obvious flaw in your thought process, and then you can correct it. However, one aspect that shouldn’t be denied is the fun/cool side of it.
Work can be boring. Strategizing can be hard. And in general people can get tired of doing the work they need to do, however, by making it feel cool, or be fun you make it more enjoyable for people. By adding that little spark of fun to the process of outlining and planning that might otherwise be missing, dry erase wall coverings make it easier to convince yourself to start the work you need to do. Having fun at work and fun with your work should never be under estimated as important factors in getting things done. This doesn’t mean that work should be ignored or that you should try cheesy things to make it more enjoyable, people can be turned off by obvious attempts to make paper work “cool” and “fun” but legitimate things that help people break the mold a bit and do their job in a way that’s actually cool, that shouldn’t be underestimated. Heck, think about the amount of offices that buy their employees laptops instead of desktops. They’ll do most of their work at the desk, but because they can move with it, and change things up a little bit, the laptop seems a lot more cool and freeing. Dry erase wall coverings offer that same fun freedom.
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