Do you have your own office?

I’m the Head of Marketing for our company and we’re due to move offices soon, so there’s a chance that I may be able to have my own space. I’m in two minds about whether I want to do this, though…

Do you have your own office, or do you work in a cubicle or an open-plan area? If you have your own office with a door that you can close, what are the pros and cons? Do you like having the option of privacy or would you prefer to sit with your co-workers and join in the banter? What are the benefits? Does it isolate you from the rest of the group or does it give you added authority to have your name on the door?

If you do have your own office, what personal or unusual things do you keep there? Do you keep it fairly bland and “professional”, with a couple of spare shirts tucked away alongside the framed picture of your dog, or have you really gone to town and made the space “yours”?

I love having my own office. I did the cubicle thing for a year, and it was a pain. This horrible experience taught me that I’m really distractable, easily startled, and very very private.

There really isn’t a con to having an office, in my experience. Just tons and tons of pros. If a crowd of people insist on having an impromptu meeting in the hallway, I don’t have to stick in the earplugs and scowl at them. I can just close the door. When I want to do stretches, I can just close the door. If I have to take a personal call, I can just close the door. Conference calls are much more productive since I can listen in on speaker phone–something I couldn’t do while stuck in a cube.

Second to the door, I love the window sill I get. It’s full of plants, which makes everything feel homey and relaxing. I also like that I can limit my lighting to the natural sunight and a small desk lamp. No super bright fluorescents for me.

No one in my department works in a cube. There are other departments, though, that do. Who gets a cube or office isn’t tied to “authority” as much as who telecommutes and who doesn’t, or who is a part-timer versus full-timer.

By working exclusively in your own office, don’t you run the risk of being seen as less sociable? Do you ever feel isolated from the camaraderie of working alongside people and do you find you get fewer invitations to hang out with co-workers outside of work?

I’ve been in pretty much every situation, in a similar field to yours.

If you primarily administrate and oversee, a separate office is good for several reasons. If you’re “first among equals,” some more collaborative arrangement is better, even if you have semi-enclosed workspace or dais or other “boss” separation. You should be in visual communication with everyone you collaborate with.

I once had one of the nicest corner offices in the building, as the mail-room guy. It’s a really long story. Having a real corner office later was almost a disappointment.

I’ve never had my own office - it’s always been open-plan ever since I first started working. I’m tempted as I can certainly see the benefits, but I don’t want to come across as aloof as I get along well with everyone here. Having a separate office space from everyone else (and on a different floor, no less), could get boring very quickly…

I’m not really interested in being Miss Popularity, so this isn’t something I’ve bothered to notice. Still, I think I am quite sociable. I entertain about three or four visitors a day, and I do my own visiting as well. Not really interested in hanging out with the coworkers (I’ve learned my lesson!). Since everyone I work with has their own office, I doubt not being in the cube has hurt me any on the social front.

At my old job, I worked in a lab, which of course had an “open-plan”. Then I was transferred to another floor, to an office I shared with just one other person. I didn’t like the arrangement because I did feel cut off from workplace happenings. But I eventually adjusted. There are always lunch and coffee breaks to infuse the day with sociality.

Probably the best arrangement I ever had was a largish solo office that was next door to the creative team’s bullpen office, and on a loop hallway around the whole office. I could stroll the loop from my door, past the coffee, then front-office and reception, then the three or four brass offices, then down the row of programmers and developers for a stop in the bullpen. Everyone busy, no problem; I kept moving. Anyone needed me, it was easy to stop. Didn’t even have to turn around and go back, it was forward all the way.

I walked through some of the absolutely strangest conversations of my life in that loop.

I also was the first to figure out the admin assistant was having an affair with the marketing VP - halfway between their adjacent offices, I could clearly tell they were on the phone to each other. All the time.

I’m in software. My environment is fairly collaborative, and one of my roles is to mentor more junior resources. Offices isolate you - crossing that doorway to ask a question is a significant barrier. This isn’t a bad or good thing; it depends on your work and environment. If the focus is on completing work on your own without a lot of interaction (or where interaction is scheduled, not ad hoc), an office is a great thing. If your work involves more collaboration, an office is a hindrance.

I had my own office for a while, and when we moved to a new building, I advocated for eliminating offices and designating a few “huddle rooms” where anyone could go for conference calls, small meetings, or some time without interruptions. It has been a great change for us, but wouldn’t work for all environments.

I hate hate hate open-plan offices, to the point that I will refuse an interview at a place that uses open plan.

I will consider a cubicle, but I LOVE my current office, so the new job would have to be amaze-balls to get me out of my office.

We have a really narrow office, it’s more of a wide hallway really, about 15 feet wide with windows on both sides, built as an extension onto the outside of the building on what used to be a patio outside of our old office space.

The original outside of the building where our old office was is the inner wall, complete with windows so there’s a bit of a fishbowl, zoo-exhibit effect, but it’s nicer than it sounds; everyone has a floor-to-ceiling window on the outside, and we have high-walled cubicles with sliding doors, so it’s essentially private.

I have had my own office in every job I’ve had since I was 19, regardless of how shitty the job was/is. Kind of nature of the beast, since I pretty much always dealt with personnel files, tax info, etc. that did needed to be behind 2 locks.

Do not like the idea of open floor plan at all. And no, I do not feel less sociable- most of my problem is too many people coming to see me, so having a door to close so I can get work projects done is a plus. As it is, I spend most of my workday dealing with ‘soft’ problems and have to work on data work after hours. It also makes me feel better about eating lunch at my desk.

Before I retired, I spent most of my life in cubicle farms. Sometimes, I had the cube to myself, but I’ve also shared with 1, 2, or 3 others. I also worked for a time in an open concept office where the bosses had cubicles and only the head honcho had an office.

Frankly, as long as it was relatively quiet, I didn’t much care where I sat. It was nice on the rare occasions when I was next to a window, but it sucked if I had a cubicle neighbor who insisted on sharing the Morning Zoo radio show with everyone. In 37 years, I never rated a real honest-to-goodness office - then again, I was never a boss.

I don’t even have a job!

I’m in a small cube, which in my building is a second level of seniority/authority place.

Developers get a fairly open plan low wall arrangement with 6 people in a farm. One of the spots that would be for two more is high walled into a small cubical with a full file cabinet for leads.
Managers and new directors get a large cubical, with a bench table big enough for 2 a side. Long time directors and senior directors get a small office with a locking door. You have to make VP and go the tower,to get an office with windows(there are none in my whole IT building :wink:

But back in the dot-com startup days I had my own next-to-corner office with a private beer fridge, and view of nature path under the Rockies foothills.

Really doesn’t matter much, I tend to zone in to my work and ignore the world most of the time.

I had a cubicle at my last two jobs and have spent the last four months in an open air environment. It was a little hard to get used to the open environment at first, but it’s not so bad. I’ve never had an office before, but I have often wondered about the same feeling of being “cut-off” from everyone else. While sometimes it’s a pain to have someone sitting three feet from me, we laugh and have a good time a lot, as well.

I share an office at my college community college, but the other instructor I share it with has mostly evening classes while I have day-time classes, so I never really see him. An office is required because we do student advising, at least that’s our excuse.

I’ve been on both sides of the coin. Starting out, after graduating from law school, I had my own office in a small firm, and since most people there were unpleasant, I really didn’t mind the isolation. (Except that my office also became an “overflow” room for various boxes and other items)

Then, I did contract work where you could work from home or other locations, and if you did come into the office, you pretty much took whatever workspace you could find. People tended to mark their territory for certain tables or rooms, but for the most part, it was a free-for-all.

Then, I did the cubicle thing for a large company, and it was weird seeing my boss (lead national counsel) three cubicles away. I understood the thought process - it encouraged people to approach her with questions or concerns, since she wasn’t removed from her co-workers. I enjoyed it because I could talk with co-workers and interact, while still working at my desk.

Now I work for a company where we have both offices and cubicles. I’m in an office and I really like the privacy, but it’s been a little less than a year, and I still don’t know everyone’s names.

It’s a cube, but with high walls. It’s pretty big too. I have two desks, three chairs and a mini fridge in here. There are only two other folks in this area, and we are all buds.

Anyway, it’s a ‘corner’ cube. In that two of my walls are BIG outside operable windows. I have beautiful mountain views. LOVE it

My job frequently requires protracted phone conversations about clients’ deeply personal issues (immigration status, which can be affected by marriage, medical issues, criminal history, etc.) I HATE that I don’t have my own office. I share a tiny (about 8’ by 8’) office with another person, and he’s a super-nice guy, but his job also requires a lot of phone work. If we both need to be on the phone at the same time, I can’t think straight. And if I’m not on the phone when he is, I have a hard time concentrating on my own work with someone else talking 2 feet from my head. And my own work is very detail-oriented.

I’d practically kill someone for my own office. I did for most of my career until maybe 3 years ago, when we ran out of space at my current employer.