Earlier this week we brought you basic ideas for how to get the most out of your office space. From your desk position and lighting, to temperature and organization, our tips are designed to help you focus and be your most productive self. Today we’re getting into some more subtle details that can really make the difference when you try to get the most out of your office space.
Unless you work in an extremely strict office environment, you can add a little décor to get the most out of your office space. While posters of inspirational quotes can give you a boost now and then, science says bringing nature into your office is the best choice. You can do this in several ways. First, as discussed in part 1 of this series, you can move your desk closer to the window to enjoy natural light and the sights of nature. Secondly, you can bring in some potted plants to place on your desk or on the floor around your office. (Watering them daily will give you a good reason to walk around a bit too.) Finally you can bring in your own artwork of your favorite nature scenes. Anything from snow-capped mountains and fields of flowers, to beautiful sunsets on the beach and trees in the park can boost your mood and bring on a more positive attitude at work.
Much like décor, sounds of nature are the best choice for your office space. Play a rainforest, ocean or bird-chirping soundtrack as you plow through your workday. These are even better than the peaceful harmonies or classical music.
So, you may not be allowed to paint the walls in your office, but even subtle color choices surrounding you can inspire more productivity and a more relaxed state of being. Blue is the top choice when it comes to both of those goals, however you should incorporate whatever colors bring out the best in you. Bring items from home to line your desk or hang on your walls so you can let the power of color work for you.
What you see, hear and even smell effects your creative process and work effectiveness. We don’t recommend lighting a candle in your office space because it may be a fire hazard, but you can bring along a spice jar or a plug-in air freshener to get your nose in the game. Peppermint, lavender and citrus improve your mood while cinnamon and wood scents make you more focused. These will be especially helpful around lunchtime if your co-workers microwave meals stink up the office.
Studies show bringing your dog to work is an excellent idea if it is permitted in your office. First, it will probably make you like your job better to have your best friend along. But having your dog in the office may make you less stressed because pets in general are great stress relievers.
Switch things up now and then. Work from a conference room alongside your co-workers for a few days or ask if you can spend half a day working at a coffee shop. These environmental changes, even if only temporary, can help you see your work in a new light.
Take breaks often to invigorate your mind. You may think pausing work is a waste of time, but it actually increases your productivity and creativity. Get up for a brief walk, chat with a co-worker or read a non-work related article every hour. Just be careful not to let your 5 minute brain-boost turn into a 1-hour social media session.
Sources: The Week and Life Hack
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