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How to survive in an open plan office

Keeping your desk tidy in an open plan office


The situation: In an open plan office, everything is shared: the window, the smells, the conversations... and other people's clutter! Be careful not to encroach on your colleagues' spaces with your bits and pieces, and make sure you don't pollute their field of vision with your paperwork/mail/leftover lunch.

The solution: "I tidy my desk every Friday evening before leaving for the weekend", explains advertising manager Emma. "That way, when everyone arrives on Monday morning, the whole area is a lot cleaner and we can start the week in a good mood". And to avoid piles of paperwork obstructing other people's view, apply the following rule: "No more than 5 dossiers on your desk at once", states the consultant. "Any more and you have an organization problem".

Avoid turning into the cleaner, imposing your tidiness on everyone else and treating papers that are left lying around as bin fodder. "Have respect for individuals - some people need to have all their urgent documents on hand to get their job done. You have to accept diversity: it's one of the strengths of open plan environments!" stresses Frank Bourdeau.


Women in Focus Editor
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