(Photograph) - Student Chris Tann and vice-chancellor Diana Green demonstrate how some academics at Sheffield Hallam University have given up their offices in favour of a temporary workstation in a communal office to test out work environment theories. In partnership with Claremont Business Environments, the Facilities Management Graduate Centre has developed a range of alternative office models. Administrative staff are given bigger desks than office managers, who, because they are in meetings more than in an office, are required to use 'hot-desk', or drop-in workstations. Tim Davidson-Hague, course leader on the postgraduate programme, said that the aim has been to find alternative ways to work in higher education. He now uses a workstation in an open-plan office, but retreats to the designated quieter areas when he has to mark assignments or write reports. 'We have been able to create an environment that matches the functions that people perform in an office. We have broken the mould and, though it might not work for everyone, it certainly works for us,' he said.