Is A Jacket Hanging On A Chair Inefficient?

Is A Jacket Hanging On A Chair Inefficient?

Magazine editor Tyler Brûlé has a simple rule for success. “People need to attend to details. I believe in a tidy ship. No jackets on the backs of chairs.”

Picture by Paul Waite

Part of me knows what he means. A jacket hanging on the back of your chair looks messy; it’s likely to get crinkled in the course of the day; it can easily slip off and then get wheeled over. If there’s a wardrobe or coat rack available, using it would make sense. And attending to details is important in all kinds of endeavours.

I can’t see it as a universal rule, however. Ultimately, the most important principle of an organised workspace is not sorting everything within an inch of its life, but being able to easily lay your hands on what you need when you need it. From that perspective, having a jacket available as soon as you get up from your chair might well be the best solution. I certainly don’t think I’ll be giving up the habit when winter returns and I start wearing a jacket again. Details are important, but different details matter to different people.

Tyler Brûlé: the man who sold the world [The Guardian]


  • Isn’t a closet or coat rack that takes up space and is only used 11% of the time (50% of year, 71% of those days, 33% of those hours) even less efficient?

  • I pity anyone who takes this guy seriously. “People need to attend to details. I believe in a tidy ship. No jackets on the backs of chairs.” That might have some mileage in a fashion or interior design context, but I think most people hold other things as more valuable, such as job performance..

    • UNFORTUNATELY, many offices DO take that seriously. I’ve worked in two of those “the only personal item you can have in your work area is a family photo, and please throw away all papers at the end of the day” offices, so they’re definitely out there.

  • Yes… the back of my chair, my mahogany coat rack, the antique walnut cupboard, the silver coat hooks in the hallway… hmm.
    If the rest of those things weren’t imaginary, then sure!
    It’s not the 1940s anymore.

  • I’m not sure that Tyler Brûlé’s magazine is a success. It’s not like it’s the top 10 magazines read in the world or anything. Maybe he should focus his attention less on the superficial stuff like coats on chairs and more on the stuff that matters like say increasing his magazines circulation. I’m not sure why lifehacker even featured this – useless advice from an editor of a useless magazine. I’m sure the guys at Facebook or google throw their coats on the back of their chairs and hey they’re actually very successful companies, go figure.

  • I’ve run over my coat with my chair wheels more than once. With Winter coming I know it’s going to bother me all over again. So right now I’m looking at a solution that will allow me to use the end of my cubicle as a coat rack. If I do it well and have to hooks then it becomes a handy tool for myself and the guy next to me. Even better if I can find a way to make it removable for summer.

    So I’ve got a few designs but as I’m right at Rhodes in Sydney I’m looking for a cheap Ikea solution that anyone can jury rig.

  • Some workplaces, this is seen as an OH&S issue apparently due to the safety concerns of a long jacket, trapping underneath th eback wheels and making you fall back, hey it could happen, but very unlikely.

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