5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR OFFICE MORE AWESOME!
Your office should be the kind of place you want to spend eight hours (or more).
Because it’s where you and your colleagues will be going, every day, five days a week (or more).
You may not be able to set up kegs of beer (ahem!), but the décor, the furniture and the layout should resemble one of those third spaces where people voluntarily go to spend hours having fun (bars, coffee shops, lounges). So how can you make it more awesome?
1: Make it look like any cool space you like.
That means comfortable couches, art work, personal touches, bright, professionally-painted walls and nooks where people can go to be alone or gather with others for private discussions.
— GPGB.Org (@GPGBdotORG) May 16, 2016
In fact, making your office space look like a coffee shop could even boost concentration. According to the Association for Psychological Science, sitting next to someone busily typing away – as you might at a coffee shop – can increase your own mental effort.
“In two experiments, Belgian psychological scientists Kobe Desender, Sarah Beurms, and Eva Van den Bussche demonstrated that — under the right circumstances — concentration can be contagious,” according to the association, which said the experiments found people worked more when sitting side by side.
2: To sit or not to sit? That is the question.
Standing desk? Or traditional desk with ergonomic chair? How about both? The ideal workday consists of a combination of standing and sitting.
And with many people working on a laptop, that’s pretty doable. Sit and work for a while, then move over to your standing desk.
Some people also opt for the chair that puts workers on their knees. There are pros and cons to that setup, and not just because of the symbolism.
— The Gadget Flow (@TheGadgetFlow) May 20, 2016
The key is comfort, but workers shouldn’t be in any position that makes them feel lethargic or impedes creativity or productivity.
3: No cubicles!
Or no to cubicles only. Even though our conception of offices often comes from movies like “Office Space,” most creative small businesses use a combination of offices, cubicles and open space.
Each work day includes different types work — collaborative, solo, quiet, active, etc., — and each office includes different types of workers.
— BOS (@BOS_Workspaces) May 15, 2016
4: Make it neat.
Okay, that sounds so boring, right? And yet we can’t work productively or creatively when our space is disorganized, cluttered and messy. In fact, at some point, the clutter attacks! Just in our minds, but that’s where the work is happening, no?
Arriane Serafico is a brand and digital strategist who blogs about productivity and work spaces. She says decluttering is key.
“Creatives are usually proud of a messy workspace, and I was for more than a decade, but trust me, you can increase your productivity twofold by keeping your desk spic and span,” she writes.
— Cowork.io official (@Cowork_io) September 18, 2015
She also has some other advice: “Three words: Properly labeled boxes. To make the task less daunting, start with only three boxes: important personal documents, important work documents, and to-sort. Every end of the week, go through the third box, sort them out to personal, work, or trash.”
5: Don’t overlook the lighting.
Serafico says her No. 1 tip for boosting creativity and productivity is: “Bring light to your work.”
“That is, fill your workspace (and yourself) with light. Just like no one likes to go to work with a heavy heart, it’s really difficult to get great work done if you’re working in a corner of gloom,” she writes. “This has been one of my biggest discoveries – where you place your desk is SO important, before even thinking about what it should look like.”
Serafico adds, “I experimented with three different desk placements in my room, before I found this perfect one next to my big windows, so I get lots of good natural light — but not right in front of it, where I’m sweating bullets and squinting my eyes from the sun.”
The room where you work will ideally have a large window that faces east. And contain some plants. No green thumb? Get the mother-in-law plant. You can’t kill it, even if you never water it!
Now get out there and turn your workspace into something awesome!