|Photographic proof that Greg sucks his thumb when he's thinking!|
|My desk opposite Awesome Greg - with lappy open.|
Our staff workroom is open plan and I've got to say it can be equal parts blessing and a curse.
The good bits - banter and witty repartee from my colleagues in the English department (the aforementioned Awesome Greg, Invisible Girl Amy, Andrew the human torch) and honorary members Jo and Toni and Emily (we have a love/hate relationship).
The bad bits - the noise and the disruption (the phone calls, the loud conversations taking place right by my desk and so on); nothing is private - my comings and goings, the scrutinizing of my computer screen; and the germs - it's all communal space.
The situation has been likened to flatting where you share stuff and have to adapt to others needs. But I haven't lived in a flat for thirty years!
I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Aside from Amy who hunkers down in her classroom, these interweb guys succinctly indicate the problems.
I shared an office once before, but with one person. I was an Assistant Headteacher and there was no free office space so I shared with a Deputy Headteacher. It was great. I was new to the school and we had lengthy conversations about staff, students and issues, as well as sharing our personal stories.
So, it CAN be a great experience but when there are seven of us, in an area the size of a large office, it can get uncomfortable at times.
The solution? Combine the good stuff of the open plan with a private place. This week I moved into a Deans' Office - a kind of interview space, but also an under-utilised area with a door!