There’s little need to work in a cavernous space unless you have staff working beside you.
Large spaces look glamorous. However, an adequate space, one that allows you to reach everything at arm’s length, saves lots of time. It may not seem that way, but once you begin a project, you’ll be happy that you don’t have to get up from your chair multiple times to get the items you need.
“Working from the seat of your pants” is a phrase I first heard from Bob Bly, a respected copywriter who spoke at an event I attended years ago. Mr. Bly may not have coined that phrase, but it certainly resonated with me and helped me determine how to set up my office, which is partially seen in the above photograph.
Some of the items in the photo are now gone or moved to a different space (thank goodness all of the papers are eliminated). Still, I do not rise from my chair unless I go to lunch or the lavatory, need to stretch, or end my day.
- The computer and keyboard are directly on the desk.
- The printer, which you can see, is to my right.
- A three-hole punch machine is now in back of the printer.
- Books I use as referral sources sit on a shelf at left.
- Shipping items and media materials are in the back right corner.
- My business phone stays on my desk (the one seen in the photo is eliminated).
- Microphones and headphones sit on shelves beneath the printer.
- Additional printer paper is placed in the cabinet holding the printer.
Everything is in place so I merely position my chair in the direction that lets me grab what’s needed.
That’s not usually the case when you work for someone else. You’re glad to get up, walk around, go into the break room, speak with someone in the hallway, or retrieve papers from a shared printer around the corner.
When you’re on payroll, your time is paid. When you work for yourself, time is a premium not to be taken or given lightly. This is why you position items in your office in a way that saves steps.
Big offices look beautiful, and they are. Unless you’re an architect, craftman, or participate in an industry where space is needed to read blueprints or cut wood, be proud of your just-right space that is perfect for your profession.