jenett: the milky way emerging from silhouetted hills (Default)
jenett ([personal profile] jenett) wrote2013-08-22 10:52 am
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Belated salon post: what do you have in your workspace?

I *totally* forgot yesterday was Wednesday. (This week at work, oy. Also, yesterday was All The Meetings Ever. Also today.)

In work-related news, I am getting an office. Long story. But this leads me to ask, "What makes your work space awesome?" Whether that's the space you work at work, the space you work at home, or whatever? What stuff are you really glad you have handy, and why? What should I do make my office extra awesome?

(Given that there is no budget for furniture at the moment, and my personal budget is somewhat limited. It will have a table, my monitor, my laptop, my phone, space for working on computers, a good computer chair, a guest chair, plus whatever else I can scrounge. It's about 8x10, glass walled on the side that faces the library space, with a large glass window facing the street.)

I'll answer more in comments, but this topic brought to you by the fact that my third impulse on "OFFICE!" (besides contemplation of table and chair and file things) was to go order the posters of the 2007 and 2010 xkcd online community maps.
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)

physical + digital workspace features

[personal profile] jjhunter 2013-08-22 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
My physical workspace swaps around a fair amount, though the one I use when I'm in at the lab proper has a secondary monitor that's a very handy when I'm doing a ton of InDesign work. My digital workspace (laptop et al.) has minimized stickies with handy snippets of html, RGB color codes, stockpiles of links for various linkspam topics, and so forth. My dock's also pretty revealing of what applications I use on a regular basis; L->R:

- Finder
- Mission Control
- Terminal
- Activity Monitor
- Excel
- Calculator
- Firefox
- Safari
- Chrome
- InDesign
- Quicken
- GIMP
- iTunes
- Word
- Stickies
- coconutBattery
- Dictionary
- Interpres [Latin-English dictionary]

Non-digital elements that I look for in physical workspaces - good lighting, preferably natural; milk crate or textbooks to stack so I can work at my laptop standing upright; decent air circulation.

I also make frequent use of a hardbound work notebook + pen(s).
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)

Re: physical + digital workspace features

[personal profile] branchandroot 2013-08-22 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
*grins* I just renovated my dock, and it is pretty revealing isn't it? Scheduling stuff, online communication, media players and getters, money stuff, Word, Excel, OpenOffice, Dreamweaver, Aptana, Gimp, image viewers, wrapping up with Zotero, BookReader, MacGourmet, and Calculator. You can tell my desktop is both the home management computer and the work management computer. And probably that I use a lot of satellite devices, considering all the streaming and remote apps tucked among the media section.

That could be kind of fun as a game: guess a person's field from their dock/shortcuts.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)

[personal profile] branchandroot 2013-08-22 03:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Part of the awesomeness of my work-workspace was pure luck; I got the office next to the copier and across from my wing's kitchenette, so I have all the conveniences handy. (Not that this stopped me from bringing in my own mini coffee pot, which doubles as a tea brewer, and setting it up on my window ledge.) Part of it, though, was definitely modifying the lighting. I think almost everyone does that, in my building. In my case that meant a desk lamp and a hand-me-down Ikea ceiling lamp--one of the ones that's a bulb on a cord with a paper lantern cover. It was a bit of an adventure to put in, since the ceilings are ten foot, and it involved my desk, an upturned garbage can, some precarious balancing, and a deformed paperclip over one "strap" of the drop ceiling to make the lamp hook. The light is much more pleasant than the overheads, though! Plus, it makes a nice conversation piece.

My inherited books help, too; there are enough that the built in shelves don't seem to glare at me accusingly. But I think the other thing that really made the office was the art I brought in. Two Ursula Vernon prints are the high point, and often cause my students to do a distinct double take as they process that, yes, those are two tea-cups full of gardens. There's a color xray of a poppy (I forget the artist's name, but he's pretty popular), which is soothing, and a handful of pottery cups to hold Stuff on my desk. It helps take the institutional edge off.
theora: (Default)

[personal profile] theora 2013-08-22 05:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Totally random, but I keep being amused at encountering mentions of Ursula Vernon in to-me-unexpected contexts. I first knew of her as a wildlife gardening blogger, and it was a good while later before I found out about the whole Hugo award-winning webcomic thing. And then the print comics. And now apparently artwork of gardens in cups, which I guess brings me full circle?
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)

[personal profile] branchandroot 2013-08-22 06:10 pm (UTC)(link)
*laughs* Ursula's adventures in fame have been huge fun to watch happen. I first found her through her Gearworld art, which she wrote a journal to go with; it was wonderful and creepy in the way Gearworld is. And then The Gardening started, which was just as much fun to read about, and was indeed the inspiration for the two teacup gardens. I made a feed of her journal here on Dreamwidth, so I can keep an eye on her more easily (http://ursulav-feed.dreamwidth.org/profile).
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2013-08-22 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yes lights! I have a fan and three lights: two are tiny and basically light up my keyboard, one of the tiny ones is solar-powered, and the third one is a small desk lamp.
pretty_panther: (hp: drarry playing quiddich)

[personal profile] pretty_panther 2013-08-22 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
It has my computer and my friends live there. On a more serious note, I have an awesome computer chair that spins, has a large supportive back, flexes a little and is the only thing I can ever sit on that doesn't hurt my back. Plus, it has little pieces of me on it like my framed pic of my pup as a ..tiny pup, my shoe wine stand and just...well a load of rubbish really but it is my rubbish and it makes me feel safe and happy and comfortable blogging and sharing stuff with the world. As someone with social anxiety, that is pretty awesome. Plus my desk is big enough to have all my diabetic stuff in a corner so yay not having to get up and fetch anything.

I think personalising your work spaces are always cool. I know some have to be super clean and professional but hey if you can have your own coaster, for example, then get a groovey one with a joke, fandom phrase, cool quote, favourite animal or something. Something that says 'This is Jenett's space without doubt. If you need pen drives, see if you can find one that isn't bog standard, whether that is simply meaning a patterned one or one that looks like chewie from star wars it all adds up to make it more yours I think.
rubyscarlett: Millie in The Bletchley Circle (Default)

[personal profile] rubyscarlett 2013-08-22 05:42 pm (UTC)(link)
It has my computer and my friends live there.
Tagline of the movie of my life.
sharpeningthebones: ([MCU] Darcy)

[personal profile] sharpeningthebones 2013-08-22 05:43 pm (UTC)(link)
In my physical workspace I have:
DVDs
A TV
Collection of stuffed foxes/zombies
Books
Post-it notes
Pens
Blank CDs
BPAL that I use regularly
Candle holder with three candles
Tarot cards
Incense burner
Incense
Coffee cup
Cans of Coke

I do wish I had a workspace outside of my bedroom though, that would be ideal, but for now i make do with what I have.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

[personal profile] synecdochic 2013-08-22 06:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Every good workspace needs cat hair in it.

Seriously, though: good lighting is probably the #1 thing. Place to store things, especially books but bookshelves are good for many things other than books; if you can't find a bookshelf in the Misc. Furniture Pile, there are a bunch of DIY hacks that are fairly cheap. An extra chair (there will always be one more person visiting than you think there will be). Something green.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2013-08-22 06:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a metal rack with my coffee syrups, little informational and decorational cards pinned up all over, a few bins to collect otherwise-loose papers, a stash of snacks, a tiny powered cooler, a whiteboard calendar, and a reasonably large metal rooster.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)

[personal profile] edschweppe 2013-08-22 09:55 pm (UTC)(link)
An office of your own! ::iz jealous::

Essential things at workplace include:
- Personally owned laptop with Internet access independent of corporate net-nanny software. Waaay too many of the results from Google searches for obscure technical questions end up pointing to domains that the net-nanny doesn't like. (Like, f'rinstance, blogspot.com.) Note that said laptop is locked to immovable object whenever in office and goes home with me at end of day.
- Noise cancelling headphones. I'm in a cubicle in a converted conference room, and several of the other folks in here have, shall we say, voices that carry.
- High-intensity desk lamp. Not really needed this time of year, but very important in depths of winter, especially as this particular converted conference room is quite thoroughly windowless. See ::iz jealous:: above.
pj: (Default)

[personal profile] pj 2013-08-23 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
The two things I love about my studio/altar room are 1) the fake sheepskin shag rug. http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Faux_Sheepskin_Area_Rug/410/ My toes smile every time I walk in there. Plus, 5 years and it looks new still. 2) The paint colours on the walls - fire engine red on one and pumpkin on the other 3.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2013-08-23 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
Things I love about my workspace:

* Having a window. No seriously, this is awesome. I wish I could face it, but my desk is not so situated.

* China doll plant in a reservoir "self-watering" planter. I can fill the reservoir twice a week and it's happy as a clam, it's pretty and green, and the level of light in a windowed office where I am suits it just fine. I have it on a plant stand behind my monitor, such that the top of the pot is just slightly below the level of my monitor.

* Pictures. Cheap calendars (the dollar store has god ones sometimes), pictures of my family, pretty pictures from wherever. I love images.

* Quotes. I have relevant pithy quotes stuck to my cubicle walls. I'm particularly fond of "Every problem has a solution that is simple, elegant, and wrong." It reminds me to think things through and not be too fond of the "obvious" or "easy" answer.

* Small finger toys. I like having small puzzles and things to fidget with, but I almost never fidget with them. It's having them there that rocks, somehow.

* Table top fountain. <3

I used to have an office-office but without a window. Most valuable things to me in usability there: white board, cork board.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2013-08-23 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh. Really good chair. Meaning suited-to-me good, not top-of-the-line-fancy good. (In fact, we had two chairs of this type, and pretty much EVERYONE hated the other one when they tried it. Eventually it broke. Mine's still fine and I love it.)

And a "buddha board" because hey, easy water doodling makes a great conversation piece and amuses me no end. And it's soothing when soothing is needed.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

[personal profile] silveradept 2013-08-24 03:41 pm (UTC)(link)
I have no office, and I also don't have a corner in the open-concept workspace. Because the original design had me sharing a workspace with the other person in my classification, because it was designed before my workplace went to a single service point model, and thus assumed that one of us would be out front and the other in back. So I get a counter with a computer (does have windows - early morning sun prevents seeing anything on the screen) and some drawers, some with hanging files.

They're full of things that I can basically forget about, as I'm the kind of person that is supremely absentminded - if I don't see it, I forget it. So my desktop is covered in papers, magazines, and projects. And my calendar. The ledge behind it has magazine bits and a few quirky things, like my Sorceror's Apprentice doll.

The computer is basically composed of a Win7 machine, the Office suite, the ILS, Firefox (my browser of choice, with add-ons like Session Manager), and a flash drive plugged in with a frak-ton of Portable Apps (GIMP, Audacity, etc.) and that carries a lot of my key data in case of having to move in a hurry or computer / network failures. About the only customizations are some wallpaper on rotation.

For things not strictly work-related, or things where dragging a laptop is impractical, I carry a rooted Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ running a derivative of CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2). It's a device sent by the divine, because it's big enough for my fingers and hands to hold it comfortably. It does a lot of things both at work and away.

My home desk is much more cozy, although smaller and just as messy. But it also has drawers to put things in and a platform with an impressive collection of beanbag and plush toys, from Pentium Man (the dancing clean room guys from the Pentium II commercials) to a small toy version of the Alseides Unit from Escaflowne.

Home computer is currently running Arch Linux, after a long stint on Linux Mint Debian. Although, because of how much I'm not in the office, it mostly functions as an answering machine and a BOINC calculator. It can easily be roped into becoming a media server when warranted, and it still the computer that I do all the financial things on.
kakiphony: Chihuly exhibit at the KIA (Default)

[personal profile] kakiphony 2013-08-26 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Late to the party, but aside from the random furniture and papers/junk, the one thing I need at my workspace is an electric kettle. My office has water with hot/cold taps brought in, but the hot is NOT hot enough for proper tea. The kettle is essential. (It goes without saying that I also keep a nice variety of tea and tisanes on hand.)

I also try to have re-useable take-away food containers and real silverware (forks, knives, spoons) for when I don't have time for a real lunch and need to grab and go from the cafeteria.
hunningham: (Default)

[personal profile] hunningham 2013-08-27 08:34 am (UTC)(link)
Coming on to the thread very late, 'cos hey, just got here and I feel chatty. Also workspaces = interesting. I'm a programmer and I alternate between working from home and working in other people's offices. Away from home the bar is set very very low because the contract worker does get fobbed off with stuff no one else wants.

Other people's offices: I want to use my own laptop, not your equipment. Getting used to the approved corporate setup / tools is a desperate desperate waste of time. Please don't put me in the same room as the sales team. Even noise-cancelling headphones don't help. I want to go in a nice quiet room with the nice quiet introverts - if necessary put up a sign saying "Do not bang on the glass - it will scare the programmers". Also, no radio. (I've worked places where Radio 1 is played all day over the office intercom.) I always find a cardboard box or pile of books to raise the laptop to a reasonable height, and I bring an external keyboard and mouse. The big problem is a chair which doesn't hurt my back. If I don't get this I try a combination of very ostentatious stretching exercises and a quiet chat with the manager. Also, this isn't exactly workplace, more working practice - but I always try and get out at lunchtime - just for sake of sanity. If there's no other option, I will drive the car half-a-mile down the road and sit in it to eat my lunch and read a book.

And sometimes I work at home, which is just wonderful.