by David Gloski, Owner of the Executive Building in Downtown Lowell
During my career I’ve worked in many locations from downtown centers to beltway office parks. By far, my favorite work settings were in downtown environments.
I like my mid-day breaks, and downtowns just have so many easy options for lunchtime and breaks. I use lunchtime to clear my head, regroup, and refresh to tackle the afternoon. These breaks can turn the blaze back stretch of the afternoon into a more productive and refreshed time with more bright ideas and less watching the clock! There’s nothing better mid-day that than a walk to lunch and a pop in at the local coffee shop to bring something back to sip on in the afternoon.
Some of my best friendships have grown out of going out to lunch with the same group of people several times per week. We heard about the families, Johnny’s little league game, and we’ve solved more than a few of the world’s problems. Everyone knows the back story and everyone is ready to hear how the recital went last night. When it didn’t go well, you could get parenting advice or even reassurance that Mary will likely recover from that figure skating fall and still want to skate.
I once had a challenging relationship with my boss who wanted to micromanage me. I learned that by walking to lunch each day we could talk about projects and sales prospects, and I could fill him in on where I was on certain tasks and get his take on certain strategies. It was easy and comfortable. He meant well, he just worried a lot. Those lunches kept him out of my hair the rest of the time in the office. It was the best! I nice walk, various lunch spots, some social exchange, and a boss off my back. Wonderful.
Now what does all this have to do with being downtown, well downtown you can comfortably have these walks with enough options for lunch that it makes it all easy! Out in an office park, getting into a car for lunch every day is a big downer. You’ll find that most of your friends are embarrassed about their car and don’t want anyone in it. The ones who will let you in their car sometimes drive like crap and you end up needing an hour after you get back to wind down!
Sometimes one person always demands to drive, that person might not be your favorite person of the group. Or the boss always wants to drive and his car smells like dirty dog and your clothes are covered in fur afterward. If you do get a person with a clean car and you have a nice lunch, then they tell you that they need to stop at the drug store on the way back for little Sally’s prescription and the dry cleaner is right next door and that will only take minute. You realize you are literally sitting in a car watching this other person get their errands done! With a downtown office, no one is captive to the stops the driver wants to make. Groups can go to lunch and can split up on the way back to the office and no one is a hostage in the back seat. No cars for lunch for me I want to walk to places!
Downtown Lowell presents such wonderful walking and eating options. You can get, Greek at the Athenian Corner, Pizza at Tremonte, Mexican at El Porto, or my favorite, Hawaiian Poke at Big Poke. If you haven’t tried this little gem you need to. Of course, if you bring your lunch from home, you can walk to a nearby park and site and have lunch there!
On the way back if you need to you can get prescriptions filled as well as your coffee mug if you want. You can even get something at Dunkin for later in the afternoon. If you need to get that proposal out before you go home and want dinner, boom… anything you want, right there again.
During an afternoon break in Lowell, you can get a little more stress relief and exercise by adding a walk along the Riverwalk or strolling through the Hamilton Canal Cultural District. A different route every day can introduce you to lots of new businesses and restaurants in the city. The further the walk the better; more steps and more stress relief. Everyone’s body gets moving and you get a mental break. Along the way better relationships are forged and lasting friendships get made. In some cases you might just meet some folks at the park and make some friends outside your company.
I highly recommend downtown locations for local small companies and startups as well as more established companies looking to make being at work more attractive. Right now, there is a terrific downtown location available in Lowell right in the heart of everything. It has both closed and open concept offices that are upscale and professional. There are many neighboring businesses that could be customers or partners on that next proposal. Check out www.theexecutiveofficebulding.com for availability right at 100 Merrimack St. Look at the list of businesses there and I bet you might find some neighbors that would like to have a lunchtime walk partner a few times a week, or you might find a group to join!