How often do you pay close attention to the environment in which you work? Many of us spend a lot of time making our homes look nice with decor and interior design, but often our workspaces fall a little flat in comparison. When you think about it, it is a little peculiar that we do this. After all, if you work a 9-5 job, you probably spend the majority of your week in the workspace. This could either be in a company office, where you have a designated space to yourself, in a co-working environment or even in a home office, if you work from home. You may regard your workspace are somewhere to knuckle down and just get the job done, so you don’t see much point in making the area look nice. But what you may not realize is that the appearance and vibe of your environment can actually have a direct link to the quality of your work. If you are working in a space that is dark, dull or messy (or a combination of all three of those things) there is a strong likelihood that you will not be as productive as you could be in a different environment. Here are some ways you can create a tasteful and practical working environment in order to produce your best work yet.
So many of us underestimate the power of natural light. As humans, we are naturally conditioned to be exposed to sunlight on an almost daily basis, as this is what can help to top up the vitamin D in our bodies. We are also socially conditioned to be exposed to natural light, as the typical working day is from 9 am until 5 pm at night (or thereabouts). Therefore, we learn to go into ‘work mode’ during daylight hours and to use the hours of darkness for rest and sleep. If your desk or office is in an environment where there is little to no natural light, your body clock can become confused, and your energy levels can drop. A dark room can also mean you have to strain your eyes to look at books or computer screens, which can be potentially very damaging. So, try and let as much natural light into your workspace as possible. If this isn’t an option for you, you can buy special lights that simulate sunlight to give you a similar effect.
We all tend to inject our personality into our homes with the colors we use and the way in which we decorate. It is also nice to do this with your workspace, especially if you do work in a role that can sometimes make you feel like a faceless office drone. Even something as simple as adding a plant or flower to your desktop can make the world of difference and can really brighten up the place. Colors are very closely linked with human emotions, so look into what colors can inspire you and choose your flowers around that. Or, you may want to inject some fun into your workspace with photos or funky bobbleheads. If you are a manager, you could even buy bulk bobbleheads for your whole office, as this is a fun way of adding some character to everybody’s desk. Just because you all work for the same place doesn’t mean you are inherently all the same – and an office with a bit of personality is a much happier office to be in!
How do you expect to work if you can barely get to your laptop under all the piles of paper and notes? They say that a tidy desk means a tidy mind, so it’s definitely worth putting some order back into your workspace if it’s gotten a little out of hand. Invest in some folders and filing systems and label everything accordingly – that way you won’t be searching through mountains of sheets just to find one report or invoice (which was probably at the top all along). Make a point of cleaning your desk out once a week – and that means cleaning out everything, not just work-related things. Magazines, food wrappers and empty cups can all litter the desktops of every office, and we all know that they only get worse over time. So, set aside a spare ten minutes or so every Friday to clear any excess mess from your work area. Seeing it clean and tidy, with everything in its place will immediately make you feel more relaxed – and it’s just one more thing you don’t need to deal with on Monday morning too.