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Office hours for non-academics

Academics hold office hours — set periods when they can be found in their on-campus offices, available to talk — because they are not required to be on campus except for when they teach. Since more of the workforce is adopting that work-wherever-you-want approach, I really like Whitney Hess’ idea of establishing of office hours for herself. She’s a user experience designer, and if you want to talk with her, you can count on her being in her office, with a chat client open, on Sunday mornings, 9-10 EDT.

More of us ought to be doing that. I think it’s a keeper of an idea.

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5 Responses to “Office hours for non-academics”

  1. We do this on MetaFilter. Our IM handles are available on the FAQ and if we’re logged on to chat, we can be presumed to be “working” Our away messages will say roughly when we’ll be back if we’re not right there.

    In a lot of ways, even having set hours seems like it’s not always necessary in the age of asynchronous communication, but maybe good for someone who has something that needs the back and forth immediacy of someone who is there in person.

    I think the real hacker culture is obliterating the life/work distinction and just not having work feel like work, but it’s not possible with all sorts of jobs and definitely not how many people want to divide up their time.

  2. It’s all good… but Sunday morning 9-10… office hours!?!

  3. I’m with Emil; a good idea, especially because no-one will interrupt their breakfast to call her. ;-p

  4. David, thank you so much for mentioning my new office hours here. Quite an honor because I’m a big fan of yours.

    Just wanted to clarify that the weekly sessions are going to be on Sunday nights from 9-10pm Eastern Time. I hope you stop by sometime!

  5. Paul Graham wrote a great article suggesting this idea also just today.

    An informative and well written read:

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