Making your working space more comfortable, functional and beautiful.
This blog is inspired by the talk I did last month for No Ties Networking. I was trying to make a point that our environment is part of us which directly influences our productivity. Interior Design is so much more than making rooms ”pretty”!
It’s all connected: our productivity is connected to our emotions, our emotions are connected to our physiology which is connected to the environment. Improving our surroundings means improving our productivity.
I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned along the way. Things that helped me and other people work more productively.
Whether it’s your main office or a place to pay the bills, your working space at home is very important. To make yours comfortable, beautiful, and as functional as possible, I suggest these easy tips.
Place your desk by a window and work in natural light, which has been linked to improved mood, alertness, and even metabolism. No window? Use LED bulbs that mimic daylight, and take frequent outdoor breaks.
Fix a wall mounted task light that will save you desk space and prevent straining your eyes when working late. Use light layering to create more welcoming and practical environment.
2 VERTICAL SPACE
To keep your desktop uncluttered, hang supplies and folders from hooks and clips on an easy-access grid. Blackboard wall, magnetic paint, crock wall, all add interest and functionality. Even wall mounted magazine racks can be used as an unusual filing station.
3 COLOUR INSPIRATION
A neutral space may be least distracting, but other hues might up your game. A University of Texas at Austin study found that office workers liked settings with aqua walls, and other research connects the colour green with innovation and suggests that blue helps with creativity.
There are variety of desks of all sizes and shapes. Using a clear Perspex working desk can add a sense of space to a small and dark office. But I have seen recently interesting wall hanging working stations that just look like a wooden box on the wall but then when you open it contains all sorts of tricks including speakers.
5 THE MYSTIC POWER MUSIC
A massive perk of working from home for me is listening to my tunes. I’ve always found it difficult to concentrate and tolerate other people’s music. I have different music playlists for different moods, heck I even had two playlists for labour (but that’s another story) Listening to your tunes can be an inspiration, moment of relaxation or just a dance break if the mood takes you. You can listen to radio, music through your computer or stream music from your phone through a Bluetooth speaker.
6 HIDE AND SEEK
Office equipment can look sadly corporate. Choose items in stylish colours, or place your printer under a rectangular basket and your shredder in a stylish box when not in use. There are many more ideas online.
7 THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
Human accents (a beloved painting, a beach-stone turned-paperweight) take the 9-5 edge off by making you feel more comfortable and therefore more productive. Doesn’t work for me, but you can add family photos and inspiring elements collected on your most recent trip. Pictures of far away destination you would like to visit can help you focus, as a nice goal you want to achieve. An inspiring quote!
8 WATCH YOUR BACK
An ergonomically correct computer station protects your back, neck, shoulders, and wrists. Follow these guidelines: 1. Adjust the chair so your feet are flat on the floor and your shoulders are relaxed when your arms are on the armrests. 2. Place the monitor an arm’s length in front of you, with the screen’s top at eye level. 3. Make sure your hands are at or slightly below your elbows when you type (you may need to raise your chair or install a pull-out keyboard tray). 4. Work standing. For a standing desk, I would suggest cushioning your feet with a yoga mat.
9 PROVIDE CHIC ORDER
For a stylish departure from the usual store-bought labels, use stencils to organize file holders by number or letter. Better yet, coordinate the paint colour with your office palette.
10 ADD SOME GREENERY
Plants have been shown to decrease stress and enhance productivity. And like flowers, they help bring the outdoors in: “Fresh-cut mint or rosemary has a wonderful scent that will wake up your olfactory senses.” Burning your favourite candle or using essential oils it might enhance your working environment and help with inspiration, relaxation or give you an energy boost.
What’s your working space? Are you happy being there? What would be your ideal? What can you achieve at the moment? Even if it’s a small thing, do it! Try it! My mum taught me to enjoy little things in life and treat myself to something small often. For me it’s flowers. So buy yourself your favourite flowers or better yet, buy them for your friend. It would definitely make their desk and day better.