On the abolition of offices in education

The prof's new office (photo by brycej)

Joshua Kim at BlogU frequently has stimulating posts. A recent one advocates the abolition of offices in education. Not all the reasons resonate with me (though check the post for yourself, we may disagree ;) Here are the ones that I found most compelling. My first is the last:

10. You don’t accomplish most of your work in your office anyway, between all the time you work at home and all the meetings you go to, so giving up your office actually will not be that painful.

The student centred ones are fine too :)

3. Doing your daily work among the students, with your laptop at library tables and eating places etc, is a great way to make your work and presence visible to the campus community.

6. Students, like you, have need for collaborative group work spaces – and making this need apparent for the whole community will drive investments to construct these spaces.

7. Students, like you, have need for private and quiet spaces to reflect, think and write – and making this need apparent for the whole community will drive investments to construct these spaces.

Because in all these years cool toys have never seemed an institutional priority, though the system loves the innovation, and students love the contact the “toys” can promote.

4. Your institution will invest in the tools you need to be a mobile education professional, including that new MacBook Air, an iPad, and an iPhone.

But for my last, and by no means least ;)

9. Giving up your office for a dorm will force you to finally throw away all those old paper documents that you have been saving.

Which is the only one that will apply to me, as I’ll be doing this at the end of the year ;)

What do you think? Are you ready to move to the couch in the cafe?

5 comments on “On the abolition of offices in education

  1. Jeremy

    I don’t have an office at a university, but have one in my parish work. I fully agree. Offices need to go!

  2. Andrea Candy

    Partly agree, in that we need to get away from the idea that the most valuable work is done in offices, or that only the people who are important enough to have offices do the most valuable work. Frequently my ‘office’ is the kitchen. Often I do my best thinking on the end of a vacuum cleaner or in the shower (must have something to do with that steady, soothing hummm!).

  3. Delorme

    Some very interesting support for why they don’t need offices. However, we all know that if we had a choice to have an office or not we would all prefer one. It keeps us from having to move all of our materials. I think offices increase efficiency.

  4. graham doel

    I like the idea of not having an office, I gravitate towards a desk. I think if my employer provided me with a cupboard rather than a desk i would be more productive!

  5. tim

    Me, I’d prefer a good cupboard and a couch by the fire, or at least with a view. Desks are a nuisance as paper can accumulate on the flat surface, like dust. And doors shut people out…