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Archive for the ‘office’ Category

organising in the New York Times

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I won’t make you guess which camp I’m in!

“The workplace is divided into two camps: those who have a place for everything and the rest of us, who waste time — up to six weeks a year — looking for files, letters and other detritus.

In a recent survey of 200 executives of 1,000 of the nation’s largest companies, respondents were asked: “What percent of time do executives waste because they or their assistants can’t find things?” The median response was 4.3 hours a week, based on a 40-hour week.”

via When Time’s Money, Organizing Pays Off – The New York Times.

Written by Karen

July 17th, 2009 at 6:33 am

Posted in office,organising

new desk, again

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I’ve moved to a new desk. I think by this stage at the BBC I was onto my third desk but it looks like I’ll be moving again in the near future so the RNIB may catch up.

This desk has several clear advantages

  •  reduced proximity to chocolate. Being able to wheel over to a tub of Roses is bad for me.
  •  less people hovering behind me rustling tea bags and biscuit packets (surprisingly annoying)
  •  walls! I’m not really an IA if I can’t tack stuff up
  • will be sat with Knowledge Management and Business Analysis colleagues (Finance and Health & Safety were very nice but not very work-useful on a day to day basis)

I will miss my window.

Written by Karen

January 12th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Posted in office

IA for the V&A

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Last week I was invited to the V&A to talk about IA. The forward thinking web team had organised an afternoon of V&A staff and industry figures to discuss their web strategy, all in the presence of the V&A director.

In some ways this was much like any other web event I had attend. The food was, admittedly, better than usual and the building much more striking (the most ornate doorknob I’ve ever seen in a toilet cubicle and a highly intricate carved conference room table).

We discussed many, many ideas and possible paths but the real challenge remains; choosing the ideas to pursue and what order to tackle them in. And of course, the actual implementation. I left optimistic about the future of the V&A website. Not least because of how smart and pragmatic the V&A web team were but also because of the initiatives we heard about that are already live.

These include RSS feeds, V&A blogs, a Facebook presence and a beautiful Flickr group. Also interesting was the blogger outreach that they had undertaken to promote their knitting and dress patterns. Have a look at Things to Do to get a different view of the museum. There are no gradients or rounded corners but there are definite forays into the web 2.0 world.

The afternoon was wrapped up with drinks on a beautiful balcony with views across Kensington on a lovely autumn evening. Quite an inspirational place to work!

Written by Karen

October 17th, 2008 at 6:47 am

How Buildings Learn – TV series

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Steward Brand has posted the six part BBC series of How Buildings Learn on Google Video.

(The BBC’s White City building features. Brand says of it that “basic daylight is an unattainable luxury”. It isn’t greatly beloved by staff but I’ve never had to work in it much. My current base, the Broadcast Centre, is a bit bland and boxy but mostly comfortable and functional. Television Centre and Bush House were both more inspirational buildings but quite flawed as places to work. The shape of TVC is distinctive but also enables you to literally go in circles when lost. )

Written by Karen

August 7th, 2008 at 6:50 am

Posted in architecture,bbc,office

i don’t want a slide at work

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Work Happy Now blogged about the Google slide. Now call me grumpy but I don’t want a slide at work. It is just a bit too try hard, too “Look at us! Aren’t we crazy!”. It reminds me of guys with comedy ties.

I would like a giraffe in our atrium though.

Written by Karen

July 24th, 2008 at 6:30 am

working at home

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I’ve noticed that I don’t get stressed as easily working at home.

I’m getting non-work stuff done. My screen breaks involve stuff that would otherwise be done in evening and weekend. And if there’s a parcel to be delivered I’m in and that saves a Saturday morning trip to the main post office. That’s generally calming, I guess.

I cook for myself which is a happy activity. I eat well. Substantial breakfasts, fruit, decent lunch with fresh veg from the garden (canteen does tasty chips and overcooked veg ). No chocolate supplies because there’s no generous colleagues or holiday gifts. Still too much coffee but at least not as jitter inducing at the lattes from Mangiare.

Less exercise though as there are no walks to station and back. Occassional lunchtime plant potting doesn’t really count.

But a big part of it is setting goals and achieving them. The potential for getting distracted by new tasks and waylaid by events is much less at home. There’s also a curious pseudo-obligation to keep track off your achievements when you work at home to prove to yourself that you really are working.

I also communicate with a different set of people. At work I talk alot to the people I sit near. At home I email and call people and their location doesn’t come into it. I’m not a huge fan of phone calls (worst of both worlds compared to face-to-face or email) but lots of my meetings have no real need to be conducted face-to-face, particularly those with people I have know well already.

Written by Karen

June 26th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Posted in gtd,office,work

unproductive computers

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In a pleasingly contrary post for a blogger, Tim Clark, author of The Prosperous Peasant, writes that Happiness is Turning off the Computer

“a guy in his late 50s or early 60s, decided his employees were spending too much time staring into computer screens and not enough time interacting face-to-face. He instituted a new rule: No more individual desktop PCs. Henceforth employees wanting to create files would have to get up from their stations, walk over to a special area, and complete digital tasks on shared-use computers. While at their own desks, they would work only with pencil, paper, and other analog tools—or confer with colleagues.”

Tim goes on to express his disatifaction with the Internet era:

“Heck, I really enjoyed computing in the pre-spam days, before the Internet was re-conceived as a marketing “platform” instead of a communications tool. Nevertheless, no one will be happier than me when this “digital” fad finally blows over and we can all go back to talking to each other with our voices and writing with pencils and paper like civilized people ;-)”

Whilst I understand (and agree with) some of the sentiments surely the first step in ending this digital “fad” is to stop blogging?

Written by Karen

January 20th, 2008 at 3:09 am

Posted in office,work