Workspace

The EdublogsClub theme for this week is workspace / study space. This saddens me slightly because I’d love a desk space and I don’t have room for one at home. Also, my jobs are casual hours so I’m never anywhere long enough to settle in. My course workshops run in museums (Brighton Museum and the Tate) with a handful of other rooms on my campus for tutorials and seminars.

I took a photo of my desk in the alumni office. I ended my previous fixed-term contract back in September so I’m in employment limbo at the moment. As a result, my desk is pretty bare (but not tidy!). In times of permanent/long-term employment my desk gets covered with postcards and random trinkets. My desk drawers are crammed full of things I haven’t hung back up from my previous desk move. I use my desk in the alumni office two-eight days a month. I don’t feel like I use it frequently enough to decorate. My filing tray is just a dumping ground. I’m proud of my Hello Kitty Pop Phone (out of shot) – I got it for £1 from Poundworld last summer. I also have some home comforts in my desk drawers, I have two spare pairs of socks, fluffy slippers, a shawl and a hot water bottle – our office gets really cold so every member of my team has things like this in our drawers.

I also work for the Student Union on an adhoc basis. I like this role because I see a lot more people and I feel quite good at signposting. I share the desk with two members of staff and two members of student staff (never at the same time, obviously). I rarely login because it takes too long to sign in and out. And because our technical support personteam has a backlog the students need to use the staff computer until the student computer is set up.

The Student Union office has a small social area which I sometimes use with my Chromebook. I like working from this space when my workload is light. I prefer to do most of my work on a PC (with a desk!) so I also like to spend time in St Peter’s House library.

I do much of my work remotely. I find it hard to keep up with everything. I frequently have diary clashes or forget to add appointments to my calendars. I attempt to stay organised thanks to my Lumia – I don’t know the model but I know it’s two years old and was free when I got it. I don’t use many independent apps on it because most aren’t available for Windows devices. However, I can use most of my university’s digital toolkit easily on it. I spend an hour each term putting my course timetable, union meetings, work days and counselling appointments into my phone’s calendar. It’s annoying but I feel a sense of relief when it’s all done.

I access my student and staff Sharepoint files through Office for Lumia or Onedrive / Onenote apps (depending where I am). I also can’t remember which app is which but I get to where I want to go so I’m just happy about that. Some screenshots:

Another thing I recommend as a student is finding out if your virtual learning environment has an app. At university I use BBStudent and it isn’t great, it seems stuck in 2014 for me. However, I also do online courses elsewhere (eg. UNISON, TUC…) and many use Moodle. I am such a Moodle fan and the Moodle app works great for me.

You can even do a free Moodle course at learn.moodle.net.

5 Responses

  1. Hi Nina

    It’s interesting to see all the different work spaces you work from!

    I use Google Calendar to manage all my appointments. I have it set to automatically send an email the day before an appointment and it is synced to the app on my phone so I can easily add on my phone or on my computer. It’s a good solution for me because I use gmail and Google apps accounts – so much of the tools I use are Google. I’m guessing you probably need to use different calendars for your different job roles which would make it harder.

    @suewaters

    • Hi Nic

      I actually walk most of the time. I live in an area that’s quite central to Brighton Museum, Booth Museum, Grand Parade campus and Moulsecoomb. I try to be a great time manager but I have a lot of sick days from overdoing it!

      I try to keep my travelling to a minimum – I use trains when I have to go to London but I try to rearrange meetings to Lync or phone rather than travel. This is mainly because the fares are too much – even though I get reimbursed for staff meetings, I cannot afford to be out of pocket most months. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with meetings, it stems from an awful one I had three years ago when a colleague in another department asked to meet up to discuss a communications strategy and I said I didn’t think it would be worthwhile until we had input/content from some other people. It wasn’t worthwhile… I spent an hour watching them read my emails and view attachments I sent, while reiterating everything I said in other meetings over the past six months. I have nightmares about that meeting!

  2. Hi Nina,
    I had never thought about the challenges of hot desks across different organisations. I think that it would be hard enough in one organisation.
    Aaron

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