I'd like to say that this recent comment on my blog had motivated me to start blogging again:
I should publish a really excellent content on the market and that i actually feel your post Meets greatest in it.
But no, it was a recent post by FSP about arrangement of furniture in faculty offices. Granted that to most of you this is a "First World problem", but what the hell, I live in the First World and thus get to worry about such things. The question at hand is, how do you organize seating for visitors so that they feel most welcome. Do you sit them across a desk, next to you in a comfy chair? Do you arrange it so that they are encouraged to stay? I personally have a simple strategy. I keep two possible seats for visitors, a far seat in the corner opposite my desk, and a close seat right next to my desk. I usually keep my book bag on the near chair. When the visitor walks in, I ask myself "Does this person have bad personal hygiene and is shedding large amounts of viruses (likely an undergrad)?" or "is this someone I would like to share data on my screen with or explain something using a pad of paper and pencil (likely a lab member or visiting seminar speaker)?" If it's the former I wait for them to take the far and uncomfortable seat, which is conveniently located next to the chicken. If it's the latter I remove my book bag and offer them the near chair. That way I keep the riff-raff away and discourage them from staying longer, while allowing more intimate visits when needed.
What about you? How do you manage your workday visitors?