Hacking Your Space – The “Unoffice”

According to Newton’s First Law of Motion, an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external force. This perhaps explains why a leader so often gets stuck behind his or her desk. This missive challenges you to develop strategies to get you out from behind your desk, and preferably out of the office altogether, through the creation of an unoffice.

Start with something simple yet effective: get rid of your desk altogether. We’ve seen many teachers eschew their classroom desk for a stool and an easel—apply the same technique to your space. Consider replacing your clunky desk with a standing desk. (A recent study equates sitting for long periods of time with smoking cigarettes.) A trip to IKEA[1] and some quick assembly will produce an economical and functional standing workstation.

As some visitors will want to sit, add some comfy chairs to your space. This creates a more intimate setting, putting guests at ease for what often are tricky or sensitive conversations. Put your favorite books on the coffee table that divides the arrangement.

The rest of your unoffice can be tailored to your whims and fancies, much of which can serve as conversation starters. I’ve got my loose tea collection on display, as well as a framed “Map that changed the world”. I’ve got a clock with the phrase “Now” pasted on its face (a mindfulness hack). Other hacks include the Noguchi Yukio filing system, which organizes your paper files by frequency of use rather than by alphabet or subject. And while you’re at it, get rid of your desktop phone, computer, and printer; instead, visit the area printer, and take your laptop to the library and interact with students. Go mobile. Literally.

Good luck!

Unoffice.jpg

[1] Lack TV Bench + Idasen Table Top + 4 Olav Adjustable Table Legs

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