Please Join Us!
When: Friday, July 6 @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT / 10:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Your Ideal Office Design
“Design is not just what it looks like or feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs
About This Week’s Chat: Goodbye, Old Desk
I get attached to all kinds of things, but especially vintage or antique wooden furniture. It’s even worse if the item was handed down from older generations in my family – I refuse to get rid of it. And so it was with my desk…
Many years ago I was given an antique oak desk by a relative. It was a beautiful piece of furniture, but not flawless. There were marks on the surface that told a story about someone spending many hours behind the desk. Maybe the person was writing stories. Maybe he or she was an accountant, or a university professor writing important papers.
On one side it had a set of drawers that were wide and deep. They provided generous space for pens, pencils, elegant stationery, old diaries, and notebooks (many of them, because I am a zealous note-taker).
On the other side there were two shelves behind a beautifully crafted door that could lock. This is where I kept some of my most precious books, many of them signed copies.
Dreams and Reality
There was just one problem with my desk: it wasn’t made for a modern office chair. The space between the shelves on the left and the drawers on the right was only big enough for a dainty antique one.
I could picture myself sitting there in a Victorian dress, writing poems with a fountain pen. Alas, that dream never came true. Instead, the reality was me sitting bent over in an office chair that was too big to slide into the space under the desk.
My poor posture caused backache and terrible headaches, but still I held on to my beautiful desk.
Until, at the beginning of last year, the headaches became unbearable – and my husband convinced me that I needed a productive body and mind more than I needed vintage furniture!
Hello, New Desk!
Two weeks later, my old desk moved into storage and I welcomed my new glass-topped trestle desk into the special space that is my home office. I also went on a serious mission to declutter my workspace.
All of a sudden, the whole office looked different. The glass top of the new desk made it look light and modern, while the solid wood trestle legs made me feel more grounded.
And, because he knows how much I love natural products, my husband gave me a beautiful bonsai tree in a clay pot for my desk, and he found an old chunk of sleeper wood to serve as a stand for my monitor.
Most importantly, my chair fits underneath the desk, and my posture is much improved. My arms are in the right position to type comfortably, and the raised monitor makes it possible for me to look straight ahead, instead of looking down. No more headaches!
I miss my old desk, but she found a new home where she’s much loved. My office now feels light and inviting, and because I love the space so much I feel motivated and productive.
What a difference a desk makes!
Your Ideal Office Design
The physical space that you occupy all day can make a huge difference to your comfort, productivity and happiness at work.
In our poll this week, we wanted to know which element you’d most like to include if you could design your ideal office. I found it interesting that more than 50 percent of the participants said that they’d like to have more natural light! (I live in a country where the sun shines most of the time, so I forget that it’s not like that everywhere!) Click here to view all the options and the results.
In our #MTtalk Twitter chat on Friday, we’re going to discuss your ideal office design. We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
- How can office design negatively impact good working relationships?
- What do you like least about your current office? Why?
- How important is your office design to your happiness at work? Why?
- How does office design affect physical health?
- There is a backlash against open-plan designs in some workplaces. Why might this be, and what could be the solution?
To help you to prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.
How to Collaborate Successfully
Management by Wandering Around
How to Stay “in the Loop”
How to Focus in an Open-Plan Office
Minimizing Workspace Stress
Creating a Healthy Workplace
Improving Physical Health and Well-Being at Work
How to Join Our Chat
Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.