With a new year approaching, now seems a good time to reflect on our workspace and consider if changes can be made to make it a more invigorating and comfortable environment, whether it be a traditional office or, in the COVID landscape, a home working space. How can one be excited about going to work, much less perform well, when surrounded by objects and colours that have overstayed their welcome?
When we tire of our home décor, we change it. Why don’t we think of this with our workspace as often? Maybe changing your workspace isn’t up to you, however, I bet you’re not the only one in your office who would like a change of scenery.
A change of environment can be just the ticket when you feel uninspired and melancholy. Yet, you don’t even need to go to a different place to experience a change. The easiest change can happen right in front of you, in the space you already use.
The quickest and easiest place to start is right under your nose with your desk. Do you remember what your desk looks like? Take inventory of what’s on your desk. Have you updated your family photographs recently? Is your plant still alive? How about some fresh flowers every once in a while?
When we live with furniture for too long, we don’t even notice it anymore and might stop taking care of what we put on it. Even if it isn’t the nicest desk around, you might feel better if it was clean and clear. Or is it time for a new desk? Are struggling with worn out drawers or a dingy desktop? Maybe a lighter, more versatile desk is more in line with the way you work and live.
Does your desk or office have enough? It’s easy to get in the habit of piling things up or just leaving them out because you want them at the ready. However, it doesn’t take that much more effort to store things away nicely, and your eyes will thank you for it. Seeing everything all at once can bring on stress and make you feel overwhelmed, and prompt you to multi-task. Studies have shown that multitasking isn’t as effective as we think. Create some breathing room and your mind and body will notice the difference.
What you see affects how you feel. Think about what you have on your phone or laptop screen. We like seeing images that are interesting, uplifting, and positive. The oil painting of a dull dreary war scene might have pretty horses, but what kind of mood does it set? Even nature changes its surroundings ever season. Change doesn’t have to be as frequent as the seasons. However, a change in artwork or a new colour of paint once in a while can help us take notice of where we are, even if some-place we are everyday.
Your office chair might fit you like a glove, and that’s great. However, if your office chair lost its life, it might be bringing your down with it. A comfortable chair at home is a must. Yet at work, our body needs and wants to feel comfortable, supported, and awake. Office chairs are available in so many more styles and design these days. We spent a lot of time in them, make sure it’s helping you, not hindering you.
Have you considered a standing desk? They aren’t just for standing. The proper ones allow for both sitting and standing. Studies show that moving your body during the day helps with blood circulation and mental clarity. If standing desks haven’t made it to your workplace yet, be the trendsetter and try one out! If you don’t want to buy one before trying it out, create a make-shift standing desk to see what its like.
So before you plunge right in to your daily routine, stop and look around your office. Are there a few things you can change that will freshen your outlook or improve your work performance? Or is this a bigger conversation to be had with your co-workers to see if everyone is in need of some change?