Is the Best Office BIG or Well-Located?

Office Hallway HDR Test, originally uploaded to Flickr by WintrHawk.Reader B writes with a great question: should she leave her well-located office and move to a bigger one down the hall?

There is a large office that has been vacant in our firm for 9 months or so (another associate was let go). I have a small office, but I like the location of it. It’s right next to the partner I work for and the assistant we share, and there’s always activity around it, which suits my work style. The large office is down the hall a bit, in a quieter area with less activity and visibility, all of which are “cons” for me. I’ve been going back and forth with asking to move (I know they’d say yes). I think the large office looks better to clients, I’ve been here for several years now, and I’m the only attorney still in a small office, the rest are occupied by paralegals. Any thoughts as to size versus location and which is more important?

Tough, tough question. My gut reaction is you should stay put because you seem happy in your current office… but your points about the paralegals and clients are serious things to consider.  (Pictured: Office Hallway HDR Test, originally uploaded to Flickr by WintrHawk.)  Whichever one you choose, you may want to read our suggestions on office decor.

I suppose the first question to ask is whether there are any dream offices — i.e., larger offices, near your partner or in other active areas — even if they may be occupied at the moment? If so, first look at who’s occupying them.  Does anyone have their door closed frequently because the activity level is too much for him or her? Is anyone far from his or her assistant? I might approach that person and see if he or she would be interested in moving down the hall to the vacant office, perhaps with the promise of a nice lunch out on you (or help moving?) or something of the like. If that doesn’t work out, have a conversation with whoever is in charge of office assignments and put in an informal request to have your dream office once it becomes vacant.

If your choice is still between the small but well-located office or the larger but remote office, I think you have a few questions to ask yourself, such as:

  • What percentage of your time is spent in meetings? Will this percentage greatly increase in one year, or two years?  Are there conference rooms nearby that you can use for meetings instead (and a reliable reservation system to make sure you have a room when you need it)?  Alternatively, can some of your meetings (such as new business pitches, etc) be held over lunch?  If so, invest a little time in perfecting the networking lunch, such as picking one nearby spot with excellent service (and decent food) for lunch, and getting to know the staff there so the meal goes incredibly smoothly.  If you would still prefer to hold meetings in your office, continue to the next question…
  • Can you declutter your current office, perhaps by claiming file space near the vacant office?  If your office is smaller than everyone else’s, it should be as clean and as orderly as possible (although in general, readers have said that that a messy office only crosses the line “when it looks like you can’t get work done in there.”)
  • Finally: Do you need to break any bad patterns?  You mention “the partner I work for.” I don’t know the particulars of your situation — maybe many associates in your firm are assigned to only help one partner.  But in some companies, it can be a bad sign if you’re only working with one boss.  Seriously take stock of that relationship: are you getting the opportunities you need for growth?  Are you learning what you need to accomplish your goals, whether you want to become partner, go in house, open your own practice, etc?  (Even if your goal is to be a stay at home mom, I would advise working with as many people as possible so you have numerous doors open to you if/when you return to work.)  Would you benefit from feedback from other partners?  If you take stock of that relationship and don’t like what you see… moving offices could be a great way to break up the pattern that has been established, and to start working with other partners at your firm.

Readers, what are your thoughts — would you prefer a big office, or a well-located one?  How much does “keeping up with the Joneses” play into it, versus having an office that suits Reader B’s workstyle? 

Comments

  1. Well-located. Being on the periphery is the kiss of death.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Agreed.

      But we always meet clients in the boardrooms/meeting rooms, so that’s not an issue. And paralegals have window cubicles at my firm , not offices, so that’s also different in that *only* lawyers would have an office. Those issues might change my opinion, but I enjoyed my well-located office more, even though my current office has a much better view and is quiet, so it’s much easier to get work done- I’m just less connected with goings ons, which is important in firm politics.

      • My office is like this, but I’m in the quiet part. I hate it! Lonely and bored to tears nearly everyday. On the rare occasion I work with someone on the fun side of the office, I make sure to go over there rather than call or email. I would work in the hallway over there if they’d let me.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Yes. It is amazing how often out of sight really is out of mind for partners. But of course, as mentioned below, you really do have to know your office.

    • 100%, no, 1,000,000%. My last office was right at the convergence of 3 hallways. I had my pulse on EVERYTHING that was going on in that place. I was (and in some ways still am) the office information tree. This may be also because I eavesdrop like nobody’s business, I have no idea why, but if you’re talking outside my office, I’m listening and remembering, even if I’m on the phone. It’s weird.

      Now I’m in a location kind of by the kitchen, but my office door is recessed back from the hallway a little bit, and I’ve had everyone from the receptionist (who is supposed to keep track of who is here) to my own secretary, to the big boss, tell me they’ve forgotten I’m here. Also, I never have any idea what’s going on with anyone else in the office.

      • How Far Do You Go? :

        @ CA Atty: I am intrigued about eavesdropping. What, exactly, do you mean? How far would you go/have you gone to eavesdrop?

        • Not far. Actually, never out of my own desk chair. Once an attorney we had just hired was fired behind closed doors. Only, I had the office right next to her and the walls were thin. So only the boss who fired her, and me, actually knew what had happened. I also had a friend in my old office who had the paralegal’s office right next to the boss, she and I bonded out of our mutual desire to get out of that office and she would sometimes gossip with me about things she heard in the boss’ office that most people in the office didn’t know. There was a lot of that I couldn’t share with anyone else, but it let me know what was going on.

          Also, my bf at the time was one of the boss’ good friends (met and started dating him after getting the job, it was more if a hindrance than a help in the workplace) and he would sometimes share info with me. Again, much of it was stuff I couldn’t share with anyone else, but at least I knew what was going on or who to go to in order to get the “official law firm story.”

          Finally, I’m not kidding when I say three hallways intersected at my office. One of the hallways was stairs, and sometimes people would be talking at the bottom of the stairs and I could hear them from my desk (we were required to keep our doors open unless we had a good reason). The boss and the boss’ kids who had offices sort of around me (picture a circle, I’m on the circle line, not in the middle) also tended to yell. All. The. Time. Especially on the phone, which they must have had a genetic incapability of picking up the handset, because they were always on speaker. They would also have screaming fights up and down the main hallway, but usually after business hours so I was still there but the support staff had all gone home.

          Part of it is also that I pay attention to people, I guess is the best way to describe it. So, for instance, we had weekly calendar meetings. They were a huge waste of time and everyone was always effing around on their phones. My boss had reprimanded me once in a different situation for checking my email on my phone, so I didn’t feel comfortable effing around at this meeting because he ran it. So later in the week someone would ask “where is A today?” And I would remember from the meeting “he’s in X city.” I can’t tell you how many calls I got on weekends from people who forgot the alarm code, but they knew I would remember (because it was very. very. easy. but whatever).

          Hope that answers your question. I feel like it’s not quite as “spy-y” as you may have thought. No hiding in bathroom stalls or sneaking through the vents for this girl!

          • Oh, also, the boss would always leave his office and holler over his shoulder to his secretary where he was going. So I always knew if he was there, almost always knew where he was going, and could fairly well estimate when he’d be back! (i.e. he’s lunching at the club with Y client, he won’t be back till 3) And yes, he had a “club.” Lowly attorneys like myself didn’t get to go.

          • It’s hilarious how people forget that other people can hear them. People often go have cell phone conversations near the elevator area on my floor, because there’s a wall behind them and it seems private, I guess. Of course, there’s also a hallway, and smack at the corner of that hallway are three offices.

            On the upside, we always know the latest gossip.

          • CA Atty, so glad you said this! I have extremely good hearing (so much so I wish I would have picked up a Master’s in sound engineering and done live theater rather than law school, but that’s another issue!) and I never have to go farther than my desk chair to know EVERYTHING. Through walls, down hallways, through closed doors…it was very interesting when I was in offices with lots of people.

            Now I’m in an office with just 2 partners and the paralegal…and it is a little quiet for me! I thought I would be relieved there was nothing to overhear, but I guess it was nice background noise. I was always pretty up front about letting all partners know I was happy to help them, so when I moved to the bigger office on the more quiet side of the office it wasn’t a bad thing. Now, I’m the only associate so they can’t forget about me! The perks of a small firm…they can’t forget about me…but also sometimes a downside…they can’t forget about me!

    • Agreed. I ended up in a nicer office, away from the boss and wish I could change.

  2. Generally I agree with Kanye, but it depends on your office culture. In my office, a lawyer stuck in a paralegal-size office just does not command the same respect as one who has been allowed to move into a larger office, even if it is more remotely located. In some firms (mine included) it’s all about square footage. Sad, but true!

    Kat’s suggestion about whether there is other shuffling that could be done — such as moving someone from a large office in your general location into the other available office — would be the best course of action in my law firm. You just have to know your firm’s culture.

    • Thank you for the input so far, I look forward to reading the rest of the comments. To address the issues so far:

      (1) Due to the layout of the firm, there are no “larger” offices any closer to the partner I work for than the one that is currently vacant.

      (2) Regarding working for one partner as Kat brought up, that is (de facto, at least), the way our firm is set up. We’re a small office and each of the 5 primary partners has a related but distinct practice area. Each of those partners has an associate that works predominantly with them, though there is a small amount of mixing it up.

    • Single gal :

      I agree with KS – and see if any shuffling can be done.

  3. My initial gut reaction is to stay with the current office unless the large-office double-swap is feasible. Particularly because the OP works primarily for one partner (which may not be the doomsday scenario Kat is describing – I assume the OP is in a relatively small practice group), visibility is even more important than for associates who work with several.

  4. The best office is the one in which you can do your best work. Having a “good” location doesn’t matter if you’re easily distracted and deal with noise and visitors; having a big one doesn’t matter if you feel isolated and bored. If I were the OP, I’d stick with the office that makes me happy, which seems to be the current one.

  5. This question reminds me of why I have such an affinity for our dear friend… No lie…I used to have a huge, great office right next to the manageing partner’s. He had me put there for his convenience, and sometimes made his work requests to me right through the wall. (“Monday?! Hello? Are you on the phone??!!”) I almost never saw anyone other than him, and he bugged the h*ll out of me by always stopping in the doorway as he walked by, to comment on my outfit or make an off-color joke.

    Obviously I’m not someone who should be giving advice on this one!

  6. Stay put. Being close to the partner you directly work with (and who likely will have a say in your career trajectory, raises, bonus, etc.) is invaluable. It’s much easier to engage in impromptu dialouge when see your partner walking by, rather than having to schedule a meeting to discuss a couple small things.

    Also, if face time is a big deal at your firm, you’re better off with your partner seeing you down the hall, than to have him not realize the hours you keep on the other side of the building.

  7. location and environment matter more than size! We recently moved our offices, and in the new layout, my office is much more isolated. I’m someone who gets energy from being in the middle of things and having activity around (actually helps me focus more than the quiet), and five months later, I am still miserable with the new arrangement. There is a lot to be said for spontaneous interaction vs intentional interaction, and if you enjoy the former, I’d suggest staying put.

  8. Does anyone else in law really hate offices? I would be much happier on a desk on a floor (a la investment banking sales or trading) or in a cube than my rather large, nice window office, which I find isolating, even though I’m in a high trafficked area.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Pfft, no, I LOVE having an office.

      I can actually decorate it with photos and art without feeling like I’m showing the world all my stuff, I can rearrange the furniture, change in my office, keep extra clothes in the closet, have actual candid conversations with the door shut, and most importantly shut the door when people around me are being a little too loud for me to read case law.

      Offices are the best. But I’m a bit of an introvert, so the door that shuts is a huge selling point for me, because sometimes I just need 15m of alone and quiet to recharge.

    • Be careful what you wish floor. I was in a cube area with a couple of clerks when I started due to a recent burst in hiring and not enough space. These two individuals spent their days discussing everything from Victoria’s Secret’s big sale to their DUI’s (no joke). I also had the pleasure of listening in on a phone conversation leading to a protection order.

      I was never so happy to leave the soap opera for the quiet of an office.

    • eastbaybanker :

      Having just escaped cubeland, I couldn’t disagree more! There are too many pros to having an office: privacy and quiet when needed, the respect of coworkers and visitors, and of course, freedom to read Corporette without the constant scrutiny of others. Although there’s an efficiency to shouting over the cube, I found the the constant buzz of conversation exhausting.

      That said, I agree that office life can be isolating. I try to eat my lunch in the breakroom sometimes, pick up the phone instead of emailing, and stop by to talk to colleagues about work matters occassionally (while carefully avoiding being a chatty Cathy) so that I’m not deprived of human contact.

    • Heck no. I wish I had a slightly better location, but I think one of my favorite things about no longer being a legal secretary/paralegal is that I have my own office. Including door, window, and enough space to stretch if I’m feeling sore. (Not to mention the ability to close my door, kick back and close my eyes for 5 minutes when absolutely necessary.)

    • Love having an office. Privacy. Individuality. Ability to close off the rest of the world and work, or close off the rest of the world when I don’t want them to see me goofing off.

    • Oh.so.tired :

      Nooooo I love having an office! I hate that our offices have a glass wall which make them slightly less private but I would still take it over a cube any day!

      • Mousekeeper :

        A glass wall??? Where? Along the front? Is that for the purpose of putting its employees (especially the young pretty ones) on display? (: Are you allowed to put blinds on that glass wall? It’s still better than a cubicle but I would feel like a fish in a tank.

    • I HATE CUBICLES!!! I had an office for 12 years (law firm) and am now in a cube (corporate). If I have to hear one more personal phone call of the guy across from me, I’m going to lose it. He went through his entire address book the other day calling people to tell them his adult daughter is 5 weeks pregnant and how she “isn’t telling the world yet.” I’m sitting here with headphones on listenting to Pandora.

    • Bless you, I’m glad cubes work for somebody. I had a job a few years back where everything had to be dictated, I wasn’t allowed to type my own reports into the electronic record. Dictating long reports while trying to screen out the hustle and bustle outside my cube….no thanks, I’ll take the quiet of having a proper office anyday.

  9. another office poll :

    TJ, but an office poll.

    I work with an assistant who as been at the firm 20+ years. Part of her job is to remind me about upcoming deadlines. The problem is her “reminders” take the form of order. For example, she says: Do task ASAP because we have a meeting in 7 days, versus, reminder about meeting in 7 days (the stuff I need to do in prep of the meeting is obvious). It grates on me because, she’s not my boss and she doesn’t “remind” the partners in that manner. I spoke with my mentor about it, and she thinks the assistant is overstepping, and I should talk to the assistant about it.

    Part of me wants to give the assistant a talking to. The other part of me thinks, she’s been there 20 years, she almost never forgets to remind about upcoming deadlines, and I should just get over it. So… would you address it with her or leave it be?

    • I would leave it be. You’re not going to change her style. Just remember, she can’t actually give you orders. If you have something else to do first and she starts harassing you about task A, just tell her “thank you for the reminder, task B takes priority right now.” Otherwise, it sounds like she’s just reminding you, but phrasing the reminder in a way that is maybe not 100% appropriate.

      Either way I would not give the assistant a “talking to.” If you do want to address it with her, I would say something like, “Thank you for the reminder, I really only need a reminder for the event, I already know what I need to do to prepare for the event.” You may have to repeat that several times, but it’ll get through eventually.

    • I’d leave it be. She’s doing what you want her to do – reminding you of meetings. The issue is just that you think she’s not doing it deferentially enough. Saying something to her will just be awkward and make her upset, and then she probably won’t be as helpful to you in the future.

    • I had this same problem with a shared secretary. He was great but his phrasing drove me nuts. (plus I wasn’t sure if his attitude was because I was female and my co workers were male?)
      I found that a consistent “Thank you for keeping me on task, next time just a reminder would be fine.” worked for the worst of it and I just let the rest go.

    • I wouldn’t make a big deal of it, but a couple sentences wouldn’t be bad. “These reminders are really helpful. But could you phrase it like, “….” instead?”

    • I’d reply with something like, Thank you so much for the reminder! It’s really not necessary or helpful for you to list the tasks that need to be done, just the reminder of the meeting is very helpful for me. Thanks again for your help.

      But, I hate confrontation, and have been told I’m too nice, so that may be too many thank yous for some.

    • Mousekeeper :

      It sounds as though she is just trying to be helpful. If you want her to continue to reliably remind you of upcoming deadlines,(don’t underestimate how important that is!), I would not say anything that is remotely critical or which can come across as condescending. I would just smile and say, “Thank you. I’m on it.”

    • Anonymous :

      In these cases I like to either “kill with kindness” or reply in the tone I want from her. “Thanks for the reminder.” Or “the reminder is helpful, thank you”. And in other cases you can reply “Thanks for the reminder. I will prioritize this according to my other commitments” indicating that it is not her job to tell you which comes first or which is ASAP.

    • Anon for this :

      I had to hang back on this one, to see how the attorneys answered. See, I am that assistant. (Not literally, so don’t freak out.) What I mean is, I have been paralegal for many years and part of my job is to remind attorneys about statutes of limitations. Over the years, I had to change my reminders from the pleasant “SOL on the Perkins case runs April 30″ to “ATTENTION: The complaint on the Perkins case must be filed in County XOXO Circuit Court by April 30. Remember that the docket clerk must have the complaint in hand by 4 p.m. in order to get the complaint on file in time. ” With some attorneys, I have to back it up further — “so be sure to give it your assistant to type by 1 p.m,” etc.

      I am not saying by any means that YOU need these instructions, but I suspect the assistant has learned the hard way that she has to be specific about what needs to be completed. (It is significant, though, that she does not say it to partners.)

      All I am trying to say is, she may not be barking at you, but rather covering her !ss for when someone less responsible than you screws up. My 2 cents is that commenting on this verbally will make you sound oversensitive, and commenting on it via e-mail will almost guarantee that she will forward that e-mail to others in the firm to show that you are not appreciative of the fact that she does the substance of her job very well.

      • Agreed. You might say one or two of the nicer comments above (thank you for the reminder) but make sure to add that you just don’t want to waste her time.

        Something like this is what I would say (actually, I’d say nothing, but it is what I’d say if I were to say something): Thank you so much for that reminder. I’ve been meaning to mention: I know that you have a lot of work that you do for everyone around here, so if you want to just remind me of the deadline, I know what specific tasks to do. I really appreciate your work, but I know how valuable time is.

        If she doesn’t change, just leave it be. As Anon for this said, it may be that she is covering for herself – or knows that certain attorneys need the detailed reminders and so just gives details to everyone to be sure. It is unlikely that it has anything to do with you personally.

      • I agree with your advice. I also think you are not exactly like the paralegal in the initial threadjack. You are simply supplying in extreme detail a reminder of what needs done and by when (so that other staff has time to xyz). That is super helpful in reminding attorneys of the work that needs done after they’ve finished, and also doesn’t overstep into the territory of ordering an attorney to do a certain task asap. So your reminders are probably the ideal type that the original attorney (or me anyway) would like to receive. The paralegal in question takes it a step or two further, and changes tone, and those are the annoying parts.

    • another office poll :

      Thanks for everyone’s perspective (especially Anon for this). I’ll just let it be. I’m most concerned with the ever-pressing NGDTCO aspect of the situation, but I’m perfectly happy to avoid the conflict :)

    • hahaha! I would never get anything done if my paralegal DIDN’T bark orders such as “do this ASAP”

      • lucy stone :

        Ditto. Sometimes I am taken aback by it when I am on top of my stuff, but most of the time I realize she is just trying to help me look good.

    • EmpLawyer :

      Me? I’d tell her I just need the reminder about deadlines, not the order “to do.” The telling point for me is that she doesn’t tell partners what to do in this way. Unless you are so new you haven’t passed the bar yet, I’d say something to her. Especially since your mentor says to do so.

  10. location! :

    I’d go with location, hands down. I had a similar situation, where the managers wanted to move me into a remote office down the hall. It was bigger, but totally isolated, and had no external windows. My current office allows me to see the entire parking lot (so I know when the bosses come and go, and when vendors show up!), and I can see the stairwell. This is great, as I love activity and people, and it helps me catch my bosses that travel frequently. I don’t need the extra space, so having a massive office in the middle of nowhere sounds much worse than a smaller office right where I like it.

  11. Stay put. I would be concerned that the move might offend the partner you work with, as if you’d prefer to be further away.

  12. River Song :

    Just wanted to let you all know that I passed my PhD Comp Exams!

    Thank you for the support, good thoughts and well wishes–as well as the study/test taking tips. It was an exhausting few days but strangely exhilarating. Now, onto the dissertation!

  13. Anon in the Midwest :

    Business trip question for Corporette’s wisdom: I’ll be traveling with a client and a partner from my firm in the next few weeks. The twist is that we’ll be taking the client’s company’s plane. I’ve never been on a private plane before. Anything to be aware of or keep in mind?
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • No wisdom to share but that is SO COOL!!!!!! You’ll have to tell us how it is!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      1.) That is awesome.
      2.) No experience but I’ve heard smaller planes feel more turbulence including just normal air movement. If you are prone to motion sickness or panic attacks bring meds with you just in case.
      3.) Have fun!

    • Definitely second the turbulence issue – if you’re prone to motion sickness, absolutely take meds before. Depending on how small the private plane is, be prepared to have less storage space than you might be used to (i.e., no overhead bins). Also, in my experience, we tend to work through the flight when it’s a private plane because there aren’t any confidentiality concerns, so I always try to have a tote bag with relevant work files. Alternatively, I bring my ipad or something discrete to occupy my time – don’t particularly want the client to see me poring over the newest issue of US Weekly. Otherwise, relax and enjoy the trip! It makes it hard to go back to flying out of an airport and dealing with security checks (first world problems!).

      • Anon in the Midwest :

        That’s all good to know; thanks. I’m not especially prone to any motion sickness, but it’s good to know in advance about the turbulence, so I don’t panic with every extra bump! Will definitely bring the files and other suitable reading materials.

        And thanks for the all the good wishes. I’m excited, but trying not to gush too much around the client or office about how great I think this is. :)

        • Are you going to be traveling from your initial location with the client or partner? If not, make sure you are clear about where you will meet and boarding procedures. Depending on the airport that you are leaving from it can differ greatly for private v. commercial. The good news is that it will most assuredly be a faster process! Have fun!

  14. See if you can test out the other office for a day. This may be strange, but it would let you know if you dislike the office.

    Recently our office underwent construction, dividing our suite in half. As a result, I used to be next to a partner, an associate, the library, and just off of receiption, but now there is a wall so I am the only attorney in this area. I am isolated, but have a good layout, got good furniture in the construction, and have a fantastic view (my office is on the same side of the building as the named partners). All other attorneys are down one long hallway that is dark, with all windows looking at the other half of our office building.

    A few of the associates dislike the associate that got moved from my end of the office to the hallway (an entirely seperate story) and wanted to know if I would trade offices with him, placing me with all the attorneys. So for a day, while our paralegal was out, I used her office. She is in the hallway and in the office next to who they wanted me to trade with. It drove me nuts. The sunlight was bad, heating on that side of the office is very finicky, people were constantly walking by my door, I could hear the attorneys on either side on their phone, it is close to the bathroom. There was no way, after just one day in that area that I would trade the office I currently have.

  15. Location, location, location. While our offices were being redone last year and my entire department was put in a temporary building, my group was on a separate floor from practically everyone else and it was the worst, we were so out of the loop.

  16. I wouldn't move if I had it all over again :

    I was in the same position a year ago. Same. Small office right next to my partner. Same size as other paralegals. Lots of action. Always able to concentrate on my work but know exactly what was going on. Was offered to move on the opposite side of the floor from my partner to a corner office (beautiful). I declined. My partner said it was crazy, told me it was time for a big office and “promised” me that I wouldn’t be forgotten because he’d use my office as an excuse to stretch his legs. So, I moved.

    He does pop in multiple times a day just to say hi and I think to fulfill his promise but I am so out of the loop now. I wish I never moved.

    Location location location.

  17. Anonymous :

    I am in academia and not a lawyer, but I recently downsized for the better location. It is a little crammed if I have more than 2 students in the room, but I am more comfortable and closer to my colleagues. It is way easier to connect with people in the small office at the center than the big office on the periphery. And when things are too hectic, I just close the door. it is perfect.

  18. Anonymous Girl :

    Hmmm, in my office the Associates are all far from the partners, so location doesn’t matter. And I mostly work with a partner in another office anyhow. I did move offices to a better office and it definitely elevated prestige at least among staff. At least here, clients don’t come in to our offices. We meet with them in conference rooms. So, at least for me, I’d pick the nicer office BUT in my office, Associates are never near partners anyway.

  19. Not a lawyer, but I chose to keep my current office {big, no window, in an office bay} — over two others: {big, window, isolated} and {small, window, in another office bay}.

    The occupants of the isolated offices are not allowed to have their doors open. I much prefer being in a bay with friendly people and open doors. I am right next to the snack area, and have a coffee machine and microwave in my office, so people often stop by to heat up lunch, grab coffee and chat.

    The other office bay does not have a snack-sharing culture, and is populated by a known yeller, a nearly deaf person who prefers to turn his speakerphone up to the max rather than use a headset, and a super-nice but very chatty secretary. My immediate supervisor’s office is also in that bay, and I prefer to keep a little distance.

  20. I would stay put. An office located in an area with less activity and visibility is a detriment to one’s career. I personally can attest to this. Also, take advantage of conference rooms if you are concerned about having more room to meet with clients.

  21. In-House Europe :

    I’m in house and in a company with an open floor policy so there are no offices, but when I had the option of staying in the “HR Room” with a slightly better spot (It is me + part time legal staff and 5 HR staff) or a “prestigious” spot far away from the action I chose I chose the slightly better spot over the floor no one ever visits. Here, I hear what is going on, people see me…WAY better than a more prestigious location.

    Basically, what I did do was switch places with a subordinate so that my location is just slightly better – is there any possibility of doing that here?

  22. I have a question about applying for a job.

    There is a highly coveted position with an amazing firm that was advertised on the industry website. The job spec specifies that all applications be made through a third party website but the website appears to be down at the moment and will not let me register. The job was only advertised today and the deadline is tomorrow. How do people feel about bypassing the requested application process and emailing the hiring partner directly (cc’ing the general email) explaining what happened. This position will get hundreds of applications and I know I am perfect for the role but I won’t get a chance to apply again (due to work commitments) before close of business.

    Is it worth the risk of annoying the partner with my email or should I wait and see if the website is back up and running and hope I get time to apply tomorrow? To register for the third party website is a 7 page process as it is and that’s before actually applying for the specific position. I just don’t know if I will get the time to do it properly.

    Thanks in advance for any advice. Long time lurker, first time poster :-)

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