Tag Archives: office

“My cubicle”

Here is my cubicle, where I live.

There is just room enough for me, as I have boxes of old files stacked up in the space where one could potentially squeeze an extra seat in. I have no great desire to sort through and clear them all. Any meetings with colleagues or visitors can take place at nearby cafes, which is probably not a bad thing…

I spend at least 4 hours a day in my cubicle and it is the nerve centre of my working life.  It is where all the “execution” happens, where policies are drafted, where presentations are written, where results are processed. It is not however where I generate my ideas. That seems to happen elsewhere,  in the car, in the shower, in bed.

Sitting in front of a computer is simply not conducive to deep thinking and idea generation.

It is quite a cluttered cubicle, with a fair amount of paper floating about. So much for a paperless workplace! Sometimes I don’t always practice what I preach…

I never was one for tidying up before guests arrive.

The same 4 walls (or 3 walls and a glass partition), day after day, week after week, month after month. “The daily grind”, ad infinitum.  It is quite comforting in a way, protecting me from whatever dangers the outside world might hold. It is easy to become trapped inside, metaphorically if not physically speaking.

I have become quite attached to my cubicle. However there is always the danger of staying too long… One more email to write, one more paper to read, one more phone call to make. It is very difficult to make personal connections when you are cocooned inside your cubicle. I suspect our most important work is done when we finally manage to escape from our cubicles.

I guess I have become a little institutionalised in a way, in my cubicle. It is my comfort zone. Sometimes it’s nice just to sit comfortably. No standing office for me!

I will miss it when I go…


“The Office Microbiologist”


There are now a lot of people associated with microbiology (managers, admin staff, quality managers, clinical microbiologists, even some clinicians) who spend a significant amount of time each day sitting in front of their computer.

Sure we need this office time to facilitate our jobs, but how much is too much time?

I would say that if you have an eight hour working day, you should probably be spending no more than three hours (maximum four) sitting in front of a computer. And with that computer time, be very focused about what you want to achieve.

If you are spending 6-7 hours a day in front of a computer and think that you have no option in this, then you need to speak to your boss/peers. This is not what microbiology is about. Never has been, and never will be.

I doubt if many innovations or revolutionary ideas are dreamt up whilst sitting in front of a computer. Computers are all about making implementation efficient, but it does little for the creative spirit. In fact, it probably dampens it.

Depending on your job, there are lots of other things that you could be doing during the working day other than sitting at your desk. The most important of by a mile is connecting with people. Few, if any strong working relationships are built in front of a computer screen.

I am as guilty of others of spending too much time in the office on occasion. If you find you are spending most of your day in the office, your seat is probably too comfortable….