An office space is a place of work and productivity (that is if you are feeling inspired, not having a case of the monday’s, are in a focused mood, and feel like working). But, it also has to be a place that makes you feel inspired and productive. Unfortunately, your office decor can’t FORCE you to get your work done, but the right environment can help. When it comes to the corporate world, unfortunately most corporate office designs don’t inspire productivity or a sense of productivity (unless you work at the startup de jour, and get free dry-cleaning, swag bags for the weekend, ambiguous working hours, and bikes to ride down the hall on). For the most part, the corporate world of office design is dull, plain and boring and they can make both employees and visitors feel like they’d rather be basically anywhere else. And as much as we would like to pretend that office design doesn’t play a part in what sort of work gets pumped out of it, the design of an office is often considered as part of what can make a business a success both in productivity and creativity. So in the name of “mondays” I’ve pulled together a list of some of the must have’s in every office, whether that be for your own home office or for the 9-5 you go to everyday, and of course some inspiration to go along with it.
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Clutter is probably the worst thing when it comes to productivity in the work space. Not only do workers need to have adequate storage in an office space to be able to do their jobs properly, but visual chaos prevents you from focusing on the task at hand. So, an organized system will mean less time trying to find your pen and more time putting pen to paper 😉 Now before you stick a file cabinet in every corner of the room or grab 4 flat pack storage units from ikea, try limiting your paper trail as much as possible by saving what you can on hard drives, or the cloud instead. I might actually be the worst person at follow through when it comes to saving to the cloud, as I constantly have a “your phone has not been backed up for 132 weeks” alert popping up. But, maybe I’ll heed some of my own advice this time.
Depending on where you work, and how you work. There will need to be certain offices or rooms that have a good level of privacy in the work place. Obviously this may not apply at your own home but, outside the home whether it’s for meetings, training sessions or discussions with clients, it’s important the people using the room have a bit of privacy from the outside. Even if it doesn’t mean completely obscuring what is going on, something like window film on the glass, can be a great way to visually make something private. We even did it a few years back on our office windows and it was such an easy DIY.
Give Your Mind Some Freedom
It’s easier to work when you’re surrounded by things that inspire you. For some people that may be a photograph of family members displayed on their desks, a large white board to draw on, a stiff cocktail to sip down….. Or for others it may mean having a huge wall or board of inspiration to look at when they need some creative inspiration. I am big on the “moodboard/board of inspiration” as looking over at things that inspire you are going to give your mind a place to explore, create and be inspired by.
A Place To Have A Snack
Life is better with a snack/drink bar (duh), and no one likes being hungry at 3pm as they doze their way through an email. So having something close at hand and easy to grab is one of the easiest ways to get through your work day. So, do yourself a favor and get a snack bar setup with some of your favorites.
Keeping Cords to a Minimum
Beyond clutter, desks are notorious for being covered in cables. And unfortunately most of us need more than one machine at our desk, so if yours looks anything like mine, you have an iphone cord, headphones, multiple USB’s and a few power cords all tangled together somewhere. But, doing what you can to hide or keep them to a minimum will again help you to give yourself some visual freedom on your desk. You can’t typically hide ALL of the cables, but you can corral them together with some sort of cable clip or even cable ties, which will allow you keep those cables you do have to have together in one spot.
Make the Most of Natural Light
If you have a lot of windows in your office space, make the most of them. Natural light is a mood booster and no one likes a dark office space. If you can, take a cue from Carrey Bradshaw and orient your desk so you can look out the window and keep the glare from hitting your screen. The window is definitely going to be more interesting to look at than the wall. If your office does lack the natural solution, then bring in both some overhead lighting and task lighting to help illuminate the space.
A Comfortable Chair
I have done the “I am buying this super cool looking chair to use in my office” and then tried it and after 20 minutes I am uncomfortable, distracted and basically over it. So, rather than grabbing an office chair purely based on looks consider comfort and workability on this one. And I promise there are some good ones out there that don’t look like you got them from your local office supply store.
So there you have it, a few tips that won’t promise productivity, but will definitely help get you there. Happy work week, and here is a few of my new favorites to get you started.
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[Photos via Pinterest]