What Is Your Ideal Work Environment?

Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

I hit a writer’s block yesterday that had a hold on me.  I tried taking on a few other tasks, hoping to jog the block; however, it stayed with me.  Finally, I moved from my office, took my laptop and found myself standing at a counter writing my thoughts away.  The block was gone due to one simple change.  I’m willing to guess that most of us find ourselves in a situation where creativity is stunted, work is frustrating and the day feels like a run through mud.
Some of us throw it away as a bad day, others of us blame coworkers and some will even blame the lack of sleep we received the night before.  While all of those can be a factor, it could be something else.  The reason work drags on is due to something we can easily change, something we overlook as having an impact on our productivity.  That something is:
Not the trees, birds and squirrels (although squirrels can be annoying), that you see outside.  But the physical environment (i.e. sound, light, furniture) of our offices and cubicles.  If your work space didn’t matter many of us wouldn’t dream of the big corner office overlooking a beautiful skyline.  Our physical work environment is something many of us take for granted.  When it’s poor it slows down productivity, we lose focus and it can even create chaos.  When it comes to environment we have to take into consideration our:

  • Posture: Michael Hyatt has this awesome article about how sitting can kill you (check it out here).  Before you go into a panic, stand up and runaway from your desk, consider the posture you have when you work.  If you aren’t comfortable, then you are distracted from really focusing on what’s important.  I had a chair that wobbled and wiggled at my last job, it created major back pains, I found myself leaving my desk to stretch often.  If your chair isn’t right or if your desk is too low, it could matter.
  • Lighting: You might not think about it, but the lighting in your room will affect how much you eat, how you sleep, your reading, your concentration, mood and the list goes on.  While some of us might not have 100% control of our room lighting there are a few things we can do to create the right lighting for the right tasks.
  • Feng Shui: Some of us might blow off the importance of office furniture arrangement; however, it’s quite necessary.  If you have too much in your office you might feel crowded which can lead to an overwhelming feeling.  What you are facing, what’s placed behind you and to your side can lead to feelings of disorganization.  If furniture is a distraction move it or get rid of it completely.
  • Noise: We can’t always control the noise level of our coworkers; however, there are a few small things we can do.  If your work permits it try noise canceling head phones.  If your hours are flexible aim to do certain tasks when the office is quieter.  If you share an office with others be open to talking about your preferences while being respectful of theirs.

I’m no interior designer (but for tips check this out); however, your environment has an impact on your productivity.  Some of us like the busyness and bustle, others of us like small intimate spaces, no matter your style be intentional.

What does your ideal work environment look like?