elitefts Roundtable: Office Space

TAGS: office space, desks, personal training, Elitefts Legacy Log, Elitefts Info Pages

Let’s face it – for most of the members of the EliteFTS Q&A staff, the internet has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s been a blessing because time spent on the computer has made us infinitely more productive, business-wise, and it’s opened up markets and opportunities that simply didn’t exist ten years ago. It’s been a curse because when we’re stuck at our desks staring at a monitor for extended periods of time, we’re not doing what we want or need to be doing, and that’s training ourselves and others – or even just getting outside and breathing fresh air.

This is 2008, however, and office work – especially the kind that entails sitting in one place for a number of hours – is a necessary evil, whether we’re coaching, building a training business, or running an expanding international operation like Elite Fitness Systems.

That said, it’s a necessity to have a comfortable, organized workspace in order to get things done. We decided to ask various EliteFTS staff members to send us pictures of their work areas, along with brief descriptions of why they’re set up the way they are, and how these spaces help them be more productive. We also thought it would interest readers to see exactly where the posts of some of your favorite Q&A members are coming from.

Scott Yard

Two pictures are shown – my desk and my truck. The office is where my work gets done, but out on the road is where it gets started. As a producer, my job is to go out and solicit business. Then I bring it into the office and keep that piece of business as long as I can. My job has many roles. You can never plan or make a schedule. Customers have needs at different times, and they’re always unexpected.

To combat this, I try to stay very organized. If my desk is cluttered, so is my head. Since my job can go from doing nothing to running on all twelve pistons, I’ve found it best to always be moving.

My job is about relationships – not only with my clients, but especially with my coworkers. When my desk looks sloppy, it says a lot to my coworkers about my work ethic. Since you’re only as good as your reputation, I try to project myself onto people the way I went them to see me. A disheveled desk doesn’t help that. I’ve always told myself, “If I don’t do it now, the customer will find someone else who will.” Since I live by that statement, organization is my number one priority in the workplace.

On the road is where my work gets started, since I’m always going out to appointments or beating doors down for business. I have a few tools I use to make my day go more smoothly and safely – including a voice recorder and a Bluetooth headset. These things allow me to take notes, plan for my next day, speak to customers while watching the road, and get things done while driving. If you can kill two birds with one stone, why not make it three?

Jeremy Frey

I set my desk and office up around my window that overlooks the weight room. My computer and desk are set up so I can see what’s going on in the weight room at any given time while I’m working at my computer, but nobody can see what I’m working on. Also, all of the radio controls, the phone, and everything else I need is at arm’s length from where I sit. My back is facing both entrances to my office so I can get work done without being distracted.

Joe DeFranco

These are two pictures of my apartment office. Although it’s only 10’ x 10’, it’s where I spend 90% of my time when I’m home, and it’s EXTREMELY productive. You’ll notice there are no TV’s and no distractions in my office. It’s strictly business when I’m in there.

To the right of my computer, I have filing cabinets for every different aspect of my business. This includes bank statements, credit card statements, payroll, invoices, health and liability insurance, rent and other expenses, future article ideas, etc. Since I have OCD, I need to know where everything is at all times. This helps my brain function better to write articles, update my website and design programs. If I misplace things or my office gets too cluttered, I can’t focus on the important things. That’s just my anal personality, so my “filing system” is a very important part of my home office.
I also have signed pictures of a few of my childhood idols for extra motivation. Training for football is how I got into this business, and my photos of Walter Payton, Earl Campbell, Bo Jackson and John Riggins still mean a lot to me.

Behind my desk is a large bookshelf PACKED with my most valuable resources. All my best books, magazines, DVD’s, VHS tapes and notes are right behind me. Whenever I need a reference, all I have to do is turn my chair around. This keeps me focused and doesn’t waste time when I need to do some quick research or fact checking.

Mike Szudarek

I’ve set up my office so my computer is situated in the corner. I did this so I have a clear view of both walls, which are glass windows. It makes computer use much easier because I can glance out the window periodically and focus on something far away in order to readjust my eyes after looking so closely at the screen. The serenity of the view – overlooking woods and a pond – also makes office time much more pleasurable.

My desk faces the door, and I use the open space to conduct meetings. I also run two screens: my laptop screen and a separate LCD monitor, both of which have 17” displays. I’ll generally run my mail on the bottom portion, and I’ll use the top as my workspace. This setup allows me to glance at incoming emails without getting distracted. I can also run multiple applications in separate areas.

Shelby Starnes

I work from home, and my office is in the sunroom at the back. The ceiling of the room is varnished wood, as are the parts of the walls that aren’t windows. From my desk, I can see my small backyard and my neighbors’ yards. I refer to the room as “the cabin.”

I find the secluded, “natural” ambience of the room perfect for putting me in a state of mind conducive to clear thinking for writing, reading and brainstorming.

Zach Even-Esh

My desk is a mess. When I was single, it was tight and neat. When I got married, it was still tight and neat. Once I had kids and began working more and more, it started looking like a wild mess!

You see the laptop, the Franklin Planner, coffee, a hard drive for all my videos, desktop for printing info, and a pile of marketing newsletters and notes I’ve taken from coaching sessions. It’s probably time for another binder for my coaching notes and another binder for my marketing newsletters.

I keep it simple. Simple is better. This is the way I view training, and it’s quickly beginning to be the way I view life.

Dave Tate

My work office is set up so I can see out both doors. Most of my administrative work is done in this office. Summary: Administrative

My home office is set up for reading and working on reports. Most of my strategic work is done in my home office because there are fewer distractions. Summary: Strategic

My gym setup is actually where I’ve written most of my articles. Out of all three offices, this is where I feel the most at home and creative. Summary: Creative

Jim Wendler

You can’t tell from the picture, but my desk used to face away from the door. This isn’t good when you spend ¾ of the day looking at porn and you work with women. While I haven’t been caught yet, I’m almost positive that most of my female coworkers would frown upon a lurid ass-to-mouth scene, so I had to switch my desk positioning so I can safely enjoy my various porn sites.

Notice the monitors. They’re the size of television sets. These allow me to hide and nap, Costanza-style, at work.

My desk also allows me to see the dreaded “walk-in customer.” I can start making some random phone calls the minute I see a Westside tee shirt. This renders me unable to pull a fat, hairy, sweaty man into a pair of briefs.

The final reason why my office is set up like this is that it makes it bigger. The bigger the office, the more important the man. Or the bigger the penis. Something like that.

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