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]


    Yer.. erm.. if you had a closet.. or a coat rack.

    Good luck with that in most offices.

    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?

    Or a chair with a coat rack at the back :)

      Now there is an ideas man!

    Or you could just keep your jacket on like you should be doing ...

    But we're trying to reduce our cost of air conditioning. Wear your jacket and sweat with pride.

    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.

    n the last Fast Lane column the man himself writes:

    I explained that I had a special metabolism that agreed very well with the air quality and white noise of a Boeing 777.

    Hear hear. We couldn’t agree more. This is the reason we have installed The 777 Ambience sound in our homes. We sleep like small babies at a karaoke bar in Shibuya to it.

    of course it gets smooshed, the only reason i ever put it there is if there's no room

    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 surprised that this is even an issue. Usually my butler stands behind me and holds it til I need it back.

    I throw my coat in the bin as soon as I arrive at work, and buy a new one on my way out.

    Geezus people. Get with the program.

    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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