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Average number of academics per office?

(38 Posts)
dimples76 Thu 16-Mar-17 20:02:34

I was wondering what is the norm at your institution. I have been in 2,3 and 4 people offices (which seems in keeping with provision across the faculty and university).

However, today we learnt in our department they are planning to put some of us in 8 and 12 person offices. This fills me and my colleagues with horror. We have an open door policy so students are in and out all the time. There are a lot of interruptions with two room mates I cannot imagine what it would be like with 11.

Can anyone cheer me up with positive tales of this working. We are fighting it but I 'm not hopeful. We are very much the poor relation in our faculty and it just feels like another blow

MarasmeAbsolu Thu 16-Mar-17 20:22:44

we are usually two if L / SL and Profs get their own office.
This is in my school

Another school hosts L/SL at 4 to 6 per office - rabbit cage style.

paxillin Thu 16-Mar-17 20:31:20

8-12 shock! Might work if you have plenty of small meeting rooms that you can use for meetings and long phone calls. Otherwise it will be terrible.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Thu 16-Mar-17 21:35:35

I cannot see how you could produce 4* publications in that environment. Perhaps they will give you all laptops and you can work from home except on teaching days?

I have my own office, tiny and too small to fit in another desk, thank goodness!

Lunde Thu 16-Mar-17 21:41:55

At my institution PhD students share offices but post-docs onwards get their own office unless for some reason they are out of the office for substantial periods of time

NoBetterName Thu 16-Mar-17 21:48:50

Ex-academic here. We used to each have our own office (not huge, but big enough for a desk, discussion table and a couple of filing cabinets). Only post-docs and PhD students were expected to share. This was at a RG university. I hated being in an office on my own, it was very isolating.

DH is a SL at a post-92 university. He has to share with two others, but he has a much heavier teaching load than I did and almost no research (I had a research group of 8 PhDs and post-docs).

I think it's very dependent on the individual university.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Thu 16-Mar-17 22:09:27

Post-docs definitely share, we have a post-doc room and it's a hot desk type environment. We now have early career lecturers sharing, not above that level, yet.

dimples76 Thu 16-Mar-17 22:20:31

I am a SL at a post 92 institution and have a heavy teaching load so working at home is unfortunately not an option during term time as I have teaching every day I work (I'm on a 0.8 contract). Only profs have their own offices here and I don't mind sharing with a small number of people - but a dozen I just can't imagine.

Things got a bit heated at the meeting. I suggested that the Faculty Exec trialled a 10 person office first - may find a P45 tomorrow and not have to worry about this!

MedSchoolRat Fri 17-Mar-17 15:26:38

In one of our dept buildings, there is basically a huge open-plan office. 30 desks or so? Extremely quiet (horrible).
the other building has 4-8 people in one office.
Only Profs get own office, and some of the Proffs elect to share.

Students are not allowed in either type of office area, meeting rooms have to be booked or found when students need a chat.

My office is nominally 9... in reality usually 5-6. I put headphones & Radio3 on a lot.

For us it's a dept not a Uni thing. Other depts at my Uni probably have an SL typically sharing with 0-3 others; and RAs in open-plan with 0 to 15 others. Mostly just Medicine that is especially crammed at our Uni.

bigkidsdidit Sat 18-Mar-17 17:16:38

Profs own office, SL / reader 2 to an office. Lecturers / fellows 6-8.

We do produce 4* pubs, but work very collaboratively (science) and don't teach, which all makes a difference

Hoarybat Sat 18-Mar-17 17:23:38

Our place liked this idea til the senior management tried it out. They came back with their tales between their legs. If it goes ahead, demand noise cancelling headphones, though I don't find they block out conversation completely. We also pointed out that if we had to go and work in the library (as if) we wouldn't be available for our needy students.

Hoarybat Sat 18-Mar-17 17:23:58

Tails not tales fgs.

chemenger Sat 18-Mar-17 17:24:51

Everyone from lecturer up has their own office. Mine has a six person meeting table which is handy for student group projects as well as meetings with colleagues. RG engineering. I do a lot of pastoral care and privacy and easy access are very important, I deal with distressed students regularly.

MarasmeAbsolu Sat 18-Mar-17 20:25:31

chemenger - so do I. I still share, in an office with glass wall :/

It might make sense (privacy, delicate / complex situation) but the managers certainly do not see things this way.

Coming to a university near you soon!!


chemenger Sat 18-Mar-17 21:58:58

Let's hope not! There is no sign of it, even in new buildings on campus here. Glass walls yes, but not sharing, so far, for academics.

chemenger Sun 19-Mar-17 08:19:16

Can I piggy back here to ask about social space? The price we pay for individual offices is that we have no social space, our old coffee room was turned into offices, now we have a boiling tap in an alcove off a corridor. This means we can go for days without chatting to another academic, which I find isolating. Everyone eats lunch in their office, alone rather than getting together as we used to when we had a kitchen and seating area.

Hoarybat Sun 19-Mar-17 09:16:16

We have neither individual offices ( except for a few privileged) or social space. Large city uni, space desperate, but it is also clear that women are more likely to share than men, and not just because of seniority.

FurryGiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 09:21:51

We have individual offices from lecturer up but very little social space. There's a tiny kitchen and in theory we have a common room but it's used as a teaching/meeting space so a lot of the time it's occupied. Very easy to go a long time without speaking to academic colleagues. Not much of a collegiate feel.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Sun 19-Mar-17 09:22:55

chemenger I miss that as well, not very good for collaborative thinking, checking out student issues, we used to have a Common Room that sold food, now the squeeze on space is too tight, and we just cram in with the students in the cafes and bar on campus, it's difficult if we have visitors as well to find somewhere to have a quiet conversation. I have been known to buy in food myself and set up in a nice seminar room than face the dinner queues!

user7214743615 Sun 19-Mar-17 09:23:09

In my institution there is sharing/open plan offices in some departments but the norm is still one (permanent) academic to an office, with postdocs sharing. It does depend a lot on research field, though - for my discipline it is really unthinkable to make permanent academics share, to the extent that people simply wouldn't accept jobs, while colleagues in social/medical sciences subjects seem to be happy with sharing.

We do have social spaces, which double as rooms for informal seminars, and I agree that these are crucial.

I am an external examiner at a RG department that has seen a large expansion over the last 10 years. They have lost social spaces to make offices for new staff and indeed it has badly affected relationships within the department.

FurryGiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 09:24:20

We have individual offices but no social space. We have a kitchen and in theory a common room, but pressure on teaching space means it's in service as a teaching/meeting room much of the time so you can never rely on it being available to use.

FurryGiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 09:25:36

Sorry- that said it hadn't posted...

Mumteedum Sun 19-Mar-17 09:29:45

Post 92 uni here too. We have 4 in our office and its impossible if we're all in at same time. We are literally stepping over each other but we all get on so can make it work. Management did try and bring in some open plan nonsense in another dept. There was uproar and pretty sure they backed down.

MarasmeAbsolu Sun 19-Mar-17 12:15:19

we have a shared kitchen - which some of us us for our lunch, or a big open space type café - which we share with students.
Access to drop-in room for confidential meeting is near impossible though, as everything is either shared, or booked for teaching.

dimples76 Sun 19-Mar-17 15:21:58

We have a shared kitchen which has a sofa and table and chairs. There are nine people in my team and we occasionally have lunch together in there which has been good. However, in the current plans which include the 8/12 person offices that kitchen along with some of the small meeting rooms we use for dissertation meetings etc is being convered into office space (and not being replaced).

This week is going to be funhmm

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