How much time do you spend in your office? 5

This morning the Chronicle of Higher Ed ran this article about how a faculty member’s office should be furnished. Now I will be the first to tell you that in my current position I am very fortunate to have a gorgeous and large office (necessary for all the meetings and outreach that I do). But for the first 7 years of my faculty career I had a rather narrow 14′ wide office space. What I found most amusing about this story was the following paragraph.

Probably the most important fixture in the office is the ergonomic desk chair. I spend several hours a week in my office. During the vast majority of them, my butt is planted in that chair, whether conferencing with students, prepping for class, or grading papers. The ergonomic chair has been very helpful in lessening lower-back strain.

“Several hours a week in my office”?! Really? Even when I wasn’t a full time administrator I spend 30+ hours a week in my office (that is leaving aside the time spent lecturing and walking around). Today I spend over 40 hours a week in my office and much of it with my butt planted in my desk chair. But just “several hours a week”? Wow.

Ok, so the question to you my fellow faculty friends (and non-faculty), how many hours a week do you spend sitting at your desk in your office/cubicle/workspace?


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5 thoughts on “How much time do you spend in your office?

  • Loony

    I spend several hours a day in the chair, although when I was a student, it was important to me that my father’s office (he was a professor) have enough room for my expensive, custom bicycle. (No way I am leaving it outside!)

    But to be fair, this professor might be spending 20 to 30 hours a week consulting at outside firms.

    • Chris Brady Post author

      If the professor is spending 20-30 hours consulting and is a full-time faculty member then s/he is likely breaking their contract. Most unis don’t allow more than 10 hours/week averaged through a year. Still, I do know that lots of faculty work from home and it sounds like this person does as well. With small children I have not yet been able to be productive from home before 10 pm. Thus I usually work in my office.

  • Jim Getz

    I’d say I spend about ten to twelve hours a week in the office itself. My office is some six floors above our department’s main office. So, any photocopying or printing requires quite a trek. Hence, I usually park it in our department’s lounge where printing is closer and there are more colleagues with whom I can interact.

    This a particularly good thing in light of the fact that my office “desk chair” is actually a vinyl lounge chair from the late ’60’s and my office computer is a decrepit machine with a propensity to crash at the slightest provocation. I’ve got a wonderful view of the Ben Franklin bridge from my office, but that’s really the only perk to staying in the room.

  • Lee McCardle

    As a pastor and now retired pastor, my arthritis pain would not and does not allow me the luxury of working endless hours in any chair! Welcome home, Chris and Mrs. Targuman!