Here in Britain, the average person will work 3,507 days over their lifetime including 204 days of overtime. How many of you are thinking “it feels like a lot more than that to me”? Yep, as a nation we spend a lot of time in the office (be that at home or not). So how can we improve our workspaces to make those workdays days as comfortable and productive as possible?
Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”
This saying rings true for the lucky few who are following their passion. Although the number of people who work for themselves is on the rise, others have their own adage.
“If work was fun it wouldn’t be called work”
Whichever camp you may reside in, here are some ways to enjoy those working hours a little more.
How to improve your workspace?
Let nature in
We’ve all heard of the benefits of plants in the workplace. They improve air quality, they boost our mood and they generally make the place look nicer. If you’re not green-fingered (or your office doesn’t allow plants) try bringing in some cut flowers instead. A vase of daffodils on your desk can really brighten up your day.
Add some colour
One way to immediately improve your mood is by adding some splashes of colour. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out and paint the walls neon pink (although if that’s your thing, go for it!). Adding a few personal touches, like photos, posters or even some fun stationery can really help to make a space your own.
This may seem like an obvious one but it’s important nonetheless. If you’re going to be spending hours at your desk, you want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. Invest in a good chair, make sure your monitor is at the correct height and take regular breaks to stretch your legs. Trust us, your body will thank you for it!
Use community spaces
If you’re lucky enough to work in a large office or coworking facility, there will probably be some communal spaces that you can make use of. These are great for taking a break from your desk, getting some fresh air or even holding informal meetings. If your workspace doesn’t have anything like this, try and create your own little oasis. Whether it’s a reading nook or just a comfy chair to relax in, take some time out of your day to recharge.
Enjoy some privacy
Though fostering community is important, it must also be balanced with environments which promote focus. You don’t have to be an introverted recluse with a hint of ‘snowflake empath’ to need some time away from others (uh… talking about a friend). If you find open-plan offices a little too distracting, there are ways to create your own space. Using things like screens, partitions or even just plants can help to break up the area and give you a little more privacy. If you work from home, make sure you have a dedicated workspace that’s separate from the rest of your house. This will help you to stay focused and avoid distractions.
This one is more of a long-term tip but it’s definitely worth doing. Taking the time to declutter and organise your workspace can make a big difference to how productive you are. Not only will you be able to find things more easily, but you’ll also feel calmer and less stressed. And who doesn’t want that?
Take a look around and be mindful of how other buildings and environments affect you in the moment. When we go to a nice restaurant, which design cues make you more relaxed? What about when you go to the beach? How does that make you feel? By understanding how different spaces affect us, we can start to apply those principles to our own work environments. After all, if we’re going to spend such a large chunk of our lives in these places, we might as well make them as pleasant as possible!
Your work space should be a reflection of you. If you love what you do, your workspace will be an extension of that. By following these simple tips, you can make any workspace work for you.
If you found this article helpful on how to improve your workspace, be sure to check out our other blog posts on productivity and goal setting! And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more great content like this delivered straight to your inbox.