Sunday, 13 July 2014

How To Make Your Work Space Work For You

If you're anything like me, you are easily influenced by your environment. Being surrounded by chaos or noise can really bring you down and send your stress levels through the roof.

While we may not be able to completely control our working environment, we can influence our immediate area and make sure that we help ourselves as much as we can to have a happier and more productive day.

Here are my top tips for giving yourself a much more calming and more satisfying work space:

1) Buy yourself a plant.OK, what? How does introducing a garden to my desk help me? Well, by adding a bright, easy to manage plant to your working space, you add a splash of colour as well as a bit of outdoors to your cooped up area. What's more, having a plant on your desk gives you something to look after and can offer a welcome break from staring at you monitor when it requires the occasional bit of watering.
Image from Google. A yellow Kalanchoe is what I have- an easy to manage plant which I recommend highly!

2) Make sure that you have plenty of lightSitting in a dark or dimly lit environment will do your eyesight no favours and will make you feel groggy and unwilling to work. Try and make sure that any lights around your desks are working or that you are near a window. If you're struggling, try to get a lamp for your desk and go outside to get some sunshine on your break.
3) Make sure that you have a comfortable desk chairI cannot stress this enough! There is nothing worse than sitting with bad posture and giving yourself a bad back. Your feet should both be on the floor and your back should be straight with the lower part supported. If you have problems with your chair, try to speak to your manager/ boss about exchanging it, buy yourself a new one (if you are self employed or in a position to) or see if anyone else in the office is willing to do a swap- you never know, they may be having the same problem!
4) Have a clear out!
I know that when you're busy you don't have the time to keep organised. You shove documents to one side as you're trying to keep a grip on the phone. You rummage around for a pen only to find that none work and your drawers become cluttered with things that you've thrown in there for later. The problem is, these things don't sort out themselves- it's down to you to get rid of the junk.
It doesn't have to be a massive clear out- maybe just throw those pens away or put things in their proper place but, I promise you, when you have free desk space, you'll feel a lot better.
5) Make your desk work for you
If you're in an open plan office with a bunch of understanding co-workers and a nice boss, see if you can move your desk. Now, don't get me wrong- I'm not talking about relocating to an entirely new part of the office but if you are a metre away from the window then why not see if you can budge your desk over to it? Alternatively, if you have a book self or filing cabinet next to you that blocks your vision or is clogging up your space, why not see if you can have it moved to the opposite wall?
6) Bring in photos.
Photos of family, friends, pets etc can help to put a smile on your face during days that are difficult and help to remind you of who are waiting to hear from you when you finish work. Warning: Make sure to avoid photos taken of holiday destinations. This can make you feel worse and cause all of your energy to be directed to booking your next holiday and wishing that you were there rather than focussing on the work that you're meant to be doing.


7) Have a spare cardigan, or jumper/sweater, and a pair of comfortable shoes
This point is only marginally related to your work space but its important all the same. Having an extra layer can help to keep you warm and focussed when you're getting through your to do list while having a comfortable pair of shoes (or slippers!) means maximum comfort and stops aching feet!

8) If you can, change your email background and your desktop background to pictures that you likeThis can be done on Gmail, which have an array of gorgeous backgrounds. In regards to your desktop, if you can't find one you like, search for one in your break and upload it. I have a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson and both  backgrounds really pick up my mood.

Any more suggestions? Let me know!