Posted tagged ‘open plan office’

Be a Time Killer Queen

August 19, 2010

Open plan offices are wonderful things.  They encourage people to interact with each other, make us stick to our clear desk and hot desk policies and force us to stay off some more interesting corners of the internet.

What they also do is allow us to become a team of office curtain twitchers, keeping a corner of an eye on what people are doing or looking at.

It’s this ability which recently drew my attention to a colleague.  He was sitting opposite his line manager, so his screen couldn’t be seen by them.  What he didn’t know however was that I was making use of the aforementioned hot desking policy, and was sitting a few desks behind him.  This allowed me to observe as he spent at least ten to fifteen minutes looking intently at his screen whilst opening and then closing folders and files.  He didn’t read them, he didn’t organise them; he spent that long just opening and closing them.

We can all waste time on occasion, and sometimes it’s really valuable to take a break and think about something different (which is where our excellent list of reasons that you know you’ve been in local government too long came from).  Here are some of my favourite ways that I’ve seen local authority staff waste time. (more…)