No first-time visitor to my office leaves without saying something like, “If my office were like this, I wouldn’t mind work.” That was the goal. If I am going to spend 40 (or, let’s face it, close to 50) hour a week in a space, I want it to feel like home.
Home, for me, means a space full of things I like to look at that reflect my personality. If anyone has the erroneous impression that I am uptight, a visit to my office should set him or her straight.
An administrator once walked into my office, looked around and said, “OK. This office changes everything I thought about you.”
Good? … I guess.
Here are some of the touches that bring the Jaime to my space.
- The 1970s owl lamp. No one who comes to my office for the first time leaves without saying something about the owl lamp. This “conversation piece,” which weighs at least 30 pounds, was found at a thrift store in Oshkosh, Wis., and hauled 900 miles to Virginia when I accepted this job. My vice president, upon seeing it for the first time, said in his southern gentlemanly way, “I am willing to wager that is the only lamp like it in the city of Radford.” I hate overhead lights, so I have lamps EVERYWHERE, but this one is my favorite (for obvious reasons).
- The Plants vs. Zombies Repeater. In late 2010, I was pretty much addicted to Plants vs. Zombies so my husband bought me a handmade Repeater off Etsy.com. He keeps the zombie population down. You can never be too careful.
- A sock monkey self portrait. In 2011, I took a photo a day for 200 days of a pink sock monkey having adventures with a small plastic flamingo. My favorite shot of those 200 was this one: Sock Monkey (very creatively named by his parents) attempting to use the self timer to take a self portrait.
- A white board the size of Rhode Island. With a goal of moving all official campus websites into the content management system within the next 20 months and with a multimedia producer going full speed ahead on projects, I need something that serves as a “dashboard” that would tell me at a glance where a project was. Sure, I also have spreadsheets and project trackers, but if someone calls me and says, “What’s the status of the School of Communication site?” I want to be able to answer without even pausing.
- Resources. While earning my master’s degree in integrated marketing communication, I bought a LOT of textbooks and many of them were actually relevant to my job. I keep a library of them in my office and encourage my staff to check out those they think might be useful. Of course, the books are propped up by a vintage thrift store dachshund.
- Tools of the napping trade. I am a big believer that a 20-40 minute nap during lunch makes you much more productive during the work day. While I only nap during lunch a few times a month, my nap mat, cozy blankie and Twitter bird pillow are always on hand for when the lunch hour calls for catching some Zzzzzs.