Open Office And Interruptions? Post A "Go Away!" Sign

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I work in an open office environment, which means constant noise and people with questions randomly wandering over (or shouting across the room). As a not-so-subtle reminder that I am a knowledge worker and interruptions are very bad for the focused programmer RAM, I decided to post an educational sign, warning people to go away.

I built a rectangular box, open from the front, using foam sheets, cutting tools and glue. I added aluminum foil to the inside of the box for increased light output and glued on three 12V white LED strips. A power adapter connects to the box with a power connector. An ON/OFF switch can be used to toggle its state.

The box has magnets on the corners. I have four additional magnets that can be used to attach different A4 paper signs to it (kind of like putting a sign on a white-board with magnets). I wrote and printed signs with a large font, on half-transparent A4 paper.

The result was a light-box with switchable front covers. It went up behind my desk at the office. People were pleasantly surprised (cool project, bro!).

The project was meant as a quick prototype and a mildly sarcastic remark about development work in open space. This won’t solve the programmer interrupted syndrome, but at least I get to state my views and had fun building it.

Sign demo 1 Insides of the box Different signs Production installation

Files used for printing the signs: pdf and odt.