Monday, January 26, 2009

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

All offices have their own quirks. 

I've worked in four offices (well five if you count that one internship where I worked in my pj's from my bed) in my short work life and all of them have had their oddities. 

I once worked out of my employer's apartment since it was a start-up company and she couldn't afford an office - the kitchen table was my desk and her dog was my foot warmer. The office I worked in last had a theme to it (not one that I can reveal because it would reveal my former company). And my newest office is pretty bland compared to the lavish NYC offices I've seen in the past. 

But as bland as it is, I like it because I have more room than I'm used to. More space to move around, more space to store files, more space to hang pictures of vineyards and beaches and more places of where I wished I was instead of stuck behind a cubicle. 

My walk down memory lane was brought on by an article I read in Gawker today, about how Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is pretty anal about how they let their employees set up their desks. So much so that they have an "approved office supplies" list. Does that mean I can't bring my pack of Disney princess pens and multi-colored Gelli Roll pens? Just kidding, I left those in my high school locker. The Martha Stewart employees are also kept white, stark, and they are told to keep their office spaces devoid of personal photos. 

All of this reminded me of an office space I worked in once. Where the walls were white, the dividers see-through and all supplies (bought by yours truly) black. This meant no blue pens, no yellow legal pads, and definitely no multi-colored Sharpies. 

And since I was only a little bitty intern, it didn't really bother me that I couldn't have personal pictures of my family and friends up on my desk but it did bother some of the other employees. I remember when a newbie had started and she had put up pictures of her and her Jersey Shore girls on the wall by her desk. The next day we had all come to work and her pictures had been taken down and an e-mail was circulated stating that we were to keep the walls clean and pristine with no clutter. 

Now that I have my own desk at a company, I have pictures up of my friends that I left behind in New York and my girlfriends from Chicago and of course the pre-requisite picture of me and my family. And while I still don't think I would freak out if I was told to take my personal mementos home, I do think they make my work space just a little bit cheerier. They remind me that there is life beyond my Outlook. 

And someday, when I'm rich and own my own company (hey, a girl can dream can't she?), I'm thinking that my office will look something like this: 


Because who wouldn't want a professional office space that was originally designed for a teenager (image stolen from PB Teen)?

27 comments:

Casey said...

haha cute! Love the desk and pink chairs. I'd totally take it, but I don't anyone would take me serious after I set it all up.

B said...

If I were to say just one thing about this post, it would be "OMG, jelli roll pens!"
But I'll say more, I think it's important to have your own feel in your office/cubicle, you need to make it comfortable enough so you can do your best work. Or put up cheery bright orange/yellow/red prints of famous paintings since you don't have a window in your office. I'm not bitter...
But the title of this entry makes me want to go in and give my office a good cleaning/organizational overhaul.

Shelby said...

Ugh I would kill to have my own company AND an office like that.

L to the Aura said...

I want an office like that too!
Heck, I want an office - period!
Teaching has it's perks... But my music room just does not qualify as an office.

Mandy said...

I wouldn't last long in an environment like that - or else I'd be taping pictures anywhere that's not visible. And this is coming from a neat freak who clears her desk at the end of the day anyways. But little touches make a big difference as far as I'm concerned.

lisa said...

I keep my collection of Starbucks teddy bears on my desk at work (no joke). I also have a bunch of souvenir knickknacks and keychains my coworkers brought back from their travels and gave as gifts to the entire team, since they're just as fond of toys as I am. I think there's a balance between a spartan (and somewhat demoralizing) desk and a workspace so cluttered with gewgaws it's not functional anymore.

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Allyn said...

I love your dream office! The pinks and browns go really well together. I'd work there!

Sunny said...

Hope your dreams will come true!

Princess Katrina said...

Nice post! I agree! I was about to post about keeping your room clean. :)

and her heart it is in ireland said...

I can't wait to have my own desk (I guess classroom would be more appropriate though) now I share one so I can't have anything personal up, though I did set the computer desktop to a sunset picture I took while on vacation in Greece. I just want a few pictures and a nice calendar, nothing too crazy.

I would hate to work at a place where I could only use approved office supplies. What if I only wanted to use pink post its?

momcat said...

And that just reinforces my previous comments that 'Martha Stewart is boring'.

Shannon said...

What I wouldn't give to have an office like that, and my own company for that matter. Maybe one day...

I ♥ NY said...

Here's to big dreams. Love this office and Pottery Barn teen haha!

twentysomethingwoman said...

LOL, love the PB Kids office. My dream is to someday work from home in my own beautifully decorated office, complete with flat-screen so I can watch E while I work...

Danielle said...

When you have your own company, I want to work there! I heart PBTeen!

*Just Jen* said...

I think that is such crap! We spend more time in our offices or cubicles than we spent AT home with our families and friends! Everyone should be able to display a picture or a few! My gosh! I have 12 pictures in my office of my son. I would just DIE if I were told to take them down!

Mommy2lilgems said...

I'm actually surprised I haven't been told to take down my few personal photos from my space...only time will tell!

Cera said...

I travel to various offices throughout the city so I don't have a personal space sadly. My entire department travels so we each have a "home" desk at the main business office that we see on Fridays... Sometimes. I would go nuts if I couldn't decorate my last office, though. Now it's not practical of course, but I do miss the days of personalization. Now my career is stuffed into a rolling briefcase.

Non Sequitur Chica said...

Why would Martha Stewart's company be so anal about people's cubes and offices? People spend so much time at their desk- the least the company could do is to allow them to personalize their space. How ridiculous.

Caitlin said...

I love the description of the Martha Stewart offices...because it describes mine almost to a T. When my company moved to its current location, we were told not to have personal items (but I've defied the rule), the walls are stark white, there are chrome accents, our desk boxes are clear acrylic and oh, we have NO walls.

What I wouldn't give for a color easier on the eyes. I'm convinced Martha's office were the inspiration for mine.

Cecilia said...

I have never quite understood why some companies won't allow workspaces to be personalized. I find that a stuffy environment hampers creativity and inspiration... maybe it's just me, but it seems so counterproductive! Ah, Pottery Barn never disappoints.

Michelle said...

That's oddly surprising since I've seen a photo of Martha's office and it's cheery as heck!

Dans said...

love the photo, reminds me of Legally Blonde 2...!

Erin said...

So, was that a "no" on the Blackberry?

Meagan said...

I noticed several posts ago that you mentioned the "rock of love bus" I wanted to share a cool fact with you.. Mindy is from my hometown in Kentucky and her sister Cindy was on Survivor a couple seasons ago.

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