8 Brilliant Ways to Liven Up Your Workspace
If every day feels like a Monday for you, chances are 1.) you don’t like your job or 2.) you don’t like your office. Not enjoying your job can be a real drain, but these are simple steps you take to make your physical more pleasant. After all, on an average, full-time workers spend at least 40 hours per week in their offices. Say, you get to work full-time for five decades. That means you are dedicating 90,360 hours of your life at work, — an equivalent of 10 full years.
A study by the American Society of Interior Designers revealed that employees who like their office environment are 31% more likely to feel satisfied at work. This is why more companies are transforming their offices from humdrum, bulky environments to ones that are more modern, open and collaborative spaces. Here are some simple steps that you can take to make your physical space at work more inviting, which in turn will hopefully keep you inspired and motivated at work.
Low lights. Turning down the lights sparks creativity, says Anna Steidle of the University of Stuttgart and Lioba Weirth of the University of Hohenheim. In the Journal of Environmental Psychology, they reveal that "a dimly lit environment elicits a feeling of freedom, self-determination and induced inhibition." These three factors foster innovative thinking. However, don't stay in the low light! "Creativity may begin in the dark, but it doesn't end there," Steidle and Werthe notes. A good lamp and using natural light are still important.
It’s OK to be messy. A study published in Psychological Science disclose that "being in a clean room seemed to encourage people to do what was expected of them." On the other hand, "disorderly environments stimulated creativity," says the research. Feel free to do what you’re more comfortable with: If you naturally gravitate toward whiteboarding things out or putting pen to paper to jot down ideas, do so. Having an organized desk works great for some people, but others may be more inclined to express themselves through physical objects.
Make a focus playlist. A survey from Cambridge Sound Management states that about 30% of employees are distracted by the conversations around them. If you work in an open space and enjoy working to music, get a good pair of earphones and plug in. Uptempo tracks give you a feeling of rush and pump you up for work. Ambient and instrumental music help to keep your concentration. Tip: Switch to different playlists depending on your mood or the task at hand.
Color is crucial. Gray, beige and white walls induce feelings of sadness, especially for women, revealed by research from the University of Texas. In order to transform your workspace, brighten it up with low-wavelength hues like calming greens and blues where possible. These colors help you feel focused and at ease. Yellow is a shade of positivity and triggers innovation. This, in turn, is perfect for creatives like designers and writers. Throw in a few of your favorite hues as well; use your decor to incorporate other palettes like rose, lilac, olive and metallic shades.
Add life to your desk. Plants offer more than a splash of color. Studies show that plants induce better memory retention and make employees feel happier and engaged. Other than that, these potted wonders give off oxygen, which helps us think better and takes in the carbon dioxide in the room. It's a give and take relationship, and you'd be surprised to see how you grow with your greenery.
Make it personal. Since you will be spending a lot of time in your cubicle, why not make it feel like home? Add a mood board. Pin pictures of your favorite people. Decorate your table with your favorite figurines. It’s a great way to take a break from stressful work; these items give you nuggets of inspiration whenever you need it.
Stock your favorite snacks. There is a state of mind called “hangry,” and you cannot work in that mode. Prevent stomach grumbles by keeping a few of your favorite snacks handy, for days where you might be running from meeting to meeting without time to step out for a bite or cranking away on a pressing deliverable.
Create a comfort zone. Who says work is all about work? Taking regular breaks keep you from burning out. You can easily do this by browsing the pages of your favorite novel during lunch, finishing your cross-stitch project or drawing in your sketchbook. Throw a pillow on your chair and make sitting more comfortable. It could also be alternatively used for napping — well, only when allowed.