The semester has not yet started and it’s already time to start scheduling office hours. In the past, scheduling my hours meant choosing when I was available. The hours I spent in the office worked around the hours I wanted to spend in the office. I officed alone; I scheduled my space accordingly.
Now I share office space with three colleagues. Though we share the same space we all have different officing styles. One of my colleagues rarely uses the office at all. For her, the office is a place she can pop in between meetings and on her way to and from somewhere else. My other two colleagues use the office to study, read, meet, eat lunch, engage with friends and socialize. Other than my scheduled office hours, I use the office to hold meetings and interviews. I like having a dedicated space to meet but I rarely use it when I’m working on projects, writing, reading or doing other independent work. For me, an office is collaborative space; but only when I’m in the mood to collaborate.
Between the four of us we have different office styles and needs. How will we co-office effectively?
This year I plan to schedule my office hours around times my colleagues will not be in the office. I find it distracting to hold meetings with people who aren’t in the meeting. But to share space I also have to make a conscious effort to schedule time in the office while my officemates are there too. Socializing is a large part of sharing space.
I can still office effectively at home and get my work done and bring projects that don’t require solitude to my office space.
Do you share office space? How do you balance your office needs with those of your officemates?