Hello SOTGC community,
Whether you’re establishing a quiet home office in the midst of your daily goings-on, paying for a private work space, or simply inhabiting a cubicle from nine to five, you can’t just sit at a desk and stare at a gray wall. Your environment affects your productivity—probably in more ways than you notice.
Here are a few tips that will help you reclaim your work space, which will ultimately enhance concentration and increase efficiency.
Put Personality in the Details
Color has the ability to inspire. Shades like cool mint green and light blue can ease your stress and allow you to focus. Bright, warm colors can amp up your energy levels like a visual dose of caffeine. But colors aren’t the only thing that can affect your mood while you’re trying to work. Adding personal details to your space—an inspiring picture, decorations that are “so you,” a handwritten message on a chalkboard—can make you feel more in control of your space, and therefore more in control of your work, your results, and your life.
But on that note, make sure to avoid clutter at any cost. While decorative personal details enhance productivity, chaos does not. Your work space doesn’t just affect your perception; it also affects the way co-workers and clients perceive you. A messy work space or one that’s too personal, meaning it has eighty pictures of your family or all of your high school sports trophies, can be a distraction.
Thankfully, organizational tools can be decorative, too. If your desk is cluttered with important papers that you haven’t had a chance to file yet, buy a colorful letter tray or small accordion file box. If your wall is littered with sticky notes, buy a dry erase board or clipboard that hangs on the wall and write notes to yourself there.
Protect Your Privacy
If you work at home, you may have kids or a spouse going in and out of your office. Establishing boundaries doesn’t just mean closing the door—it means protecting your files, projects, confidential client information, and contacts. Shield your work from kid-related accidents by creating hard-to-crack passwords (as in, not the same one you use to log your kids into minecraft) and by placing physical files in locked drawers. Working at home can make for a lot of blurry areas, but protection for your hard work, your clients, and your privacy should not be a variable.
Get Fresh Air
Natural light and fresh air bring energy into your work environment. If at all possible, situate your desk near a window. Some people might see this as distracting, but others like feeling in close contact with the outside world. It also gives you a good sense of the time passing, which means having a better idea for when it’s time to take a break to stretch, get some fresh air, refresh your cup of coffee, or even quit for the day. It will keep you from glancing at the clock and wondering where the last three hours went.
Place some plants on your desk to keep the air fresh and avoid feeling trapped in a dark work cave. These can also add a pleasant aroma to your office, which contributes to the ambiance.
The most important goal of personalizing your office is to inspire yourself. Sure, a picture of your dog playing in the field is a nice touch. But does it make you want to work harder? Does it help you brainstorm fresh ideas? Include your favorite artwork, a quote that motivates you, or a visual inspiration board. Place a few books related to your industry on your desk, or even just a photograph of a place that you love. Your workspace should feel like an escape, not a trap that locks you in from nine to five.
For more design tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.