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Wondering if anyone has recommendations for how to design my office layout for the ultimate in INTP style and productivity. I have 8'x15' to work with. Door on the edge of the 15' wall. I am an accountant but not the stereotypical type in duties. Currently have an L-shape desk configuration, 4 2-drawer and 1 4 drawer file cabinets dotted around the perimeter, and 4 file cabinets out in the hall. The hall is getting smaller and my office is expanding from 8'x9' to accomodate bringing the file cabinets in.

U-shape? Or keep the L-shape? Or One continuous workspace on a single wall? How many pictures/posters/decor do you have? Any family pics up (I never did before kids but everyone wants to see their pics so I have one of each up)? File cabinets behind me (out of sight-out of mind) or on an opposite wall??

Major job functions include:
- shuffling a ton of paper around and, in turn, filing them while rarely needing to refer to the filed originals,
- 8' cubicle wall for my office only but I am kind of out in the middle of the room and there is at least 3' above it to the ceiling.
- a line of sight distraction issue if my primary workspace is too close to my door (the person's whose office I can see into when near my door plays with his shoes constantly under his desk which has adjusted how I use my current space),
- 2 large computer monitors,
- dislike having back to those who walk in,
- doing lengthy conference calls with outsiders on a regular basis,
- doing meetings at my office with off-site coworkers 12-15 times a year (normally in spurts),
-overhead lighting is bad no matter what so I already have a lamp,
- spending a solid 3.5 straight months tied down in deep detail thought for stuff that just must be done perfectly and periodic shorter times the rest of the year,
- 5 standard 4-drawer file cabinets (paring down from many more of those left by my predecessor that had files back to when he started 30 years ago),
- the need for a dedicated standing-height work table for sorting through said ton of papers since my department lacks a workroom and I will get things in spurts (like I got 30 contracts last week that now all have to be broken apart into sections, reviewed, and scanned). Everything like that tends to be in overwhelming spurts.
- the primary workspace I use is 30"x60" and will be one of those lift top desks (trendy in our department now). That includes typing and writing. My phone and desktop file organizer are on another section currently. Much more workspace than that are clutter collectors for stuff that will never get taken care of. I would know --- have that already and in past offices.

I can borrow a chair for visitors for as infrequently as it is needed but wondered about getting a small bench like many others in the office have wondering if that is a more appealing option for use flexibility and so people do not stay too long! I love visitors and listening to their stories except when I am deep in thought!

Not so sure about taking up real estate with a visitor chair. Had 4 chairs for visitors in my old office but I inherited it with no ability to customize and my job duties required more frequent meetings and that office was clearly much larger.

3,160 Posts
If you are anything like me pack everything as densely as is usable, make every space a usable surface, and try to mount monitors and such in a way that doesn't take up desk space.

I build a lot of stuff so that may only apply to me.

3,444 Posts
This is all cool, but I don't really see what it has to do with INTP. For example: in my office, the INTP element is the care with which I organize my books. Not just so I can find them, but so that if I have a thought, I can reach blindly behind me and find the book I need to support that thought. I have evaluated all of my books, and the ones I need to do this most with, I don't even need to get out of my chair to grasp. And I'm not talking about the normal dictionaries and style guides and thesauruses, etc. Those go on the desk. The point is to keep the mind free and dreaming, while providing text structure when it's needed.

I also have bins so that when the magic is happening in the brain, I don't have to sidetrack into putting something back. Then I make it part of my day to clean out the bin.

Now granted, we're in totally different fields, but I'm having a hard time conceiving of how building systems, etc. feeds into the room arrangement of file cabinets. Does it? I'd like to hear about that. I'm curious as to the thinking behind how this is all INTP. To me, where a file cabinet goes depends on what's in it.

Also, I always assumed kid pictures are supposed to be for the parent. If you don't use them (to gaze at longingly or whatever) then why bother? Your Fe seems a lot stronger than mine to worry that other people need to see your kids.

4,465 Posts
I'll throw out a few ideas. Basically I see your workspace as a squarish shape, with your desk facing the “door” end of the room. The remaining space—near the door--is for bench seating for visitors. You can also squeeze your desk chair and a borrowed chair into this end of the room when necessary.


U shape is probably the most efficient, saves steps.

Have your desk perpendicular to the door, with you facing the "door end" of the room. You aren't looking directly out the door, but you can see people when they walk in or stick their head in. If you can still see the annoying shoe guy, put something between your desk and the door to block the view. A coat rack, potted plant, etc., if there’s room, or maybe something functional and flat (whiteboard/bulletin board?). Or perhaps one of your filing cabinets could go here.

Bench seating near the door sounds good. People can sit but won’t get too comfy. They also don't need to invade your actual workspace.

Get lots of lighting that doesn’t take up extra space on desk, floor, or any other horizontal surface. Clamp-on gooseneck lamps, usb plug-in lighting, lighted keyboards, wall-mounted lights. How about rope lights all around?

Have lots of portable and/or double-duty items, e.g., storage ottomans. In fact, the “bench” could be made up of 2 or 3 storage ottomans. Consider portable/folding tables that can serve the needs of the moment, e.g., coffee table today, a place to sort papers on tomorrow.

People don’t really want to see your kids; they’re just being polite. Tell them what I told a neighbor who wanted to see a pic of my baby granddaughter: “She looks like a baby.” Or, if that’s too rude, tell them you have pix on your computer and you can pull them up later. (Then you can "forget" to do it, or run out of time.)

I don’t have any decor. A couple of funny pictures, yes.
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