5 Tips For A Functional & Creative Workspace
Whether you work from home or in an office/cubicle, your workspace is (or should be) your creative, productive haven. And while we can’t control every aspect of our working environment, there are some great things you can do to de-stress, flake less, and work to your best.
1. Less Clutter = Less Stress
I’ll be real with you, life is messy. On any given day, my desk is not only covered in assorted work paraphernalia but also: fresh flowers from my husband, candles and incense, Wiggles storybooks, and the occasional toddler’s shoe. But at least once per week I set time aside to clean my desk, throw out dead flowers, and just put everything back in its place. It’s amazing how much Zen a little tidying can create!
2. Great Furniture Feels Great
An office desk and chair is an important investment, especially as you’ll spend a good deal of time parked therein. Make sure you get a supportive chair that suits you. Arms or no arms? Large seat pan? Ergonomic? Great colour? It all adds up to you feeling great in your workspace. Also, you need a desk that is not only attractive to you, but is also big enough for everything you need to use.
Don’t make the mistake of going with trendy ultra-minimalism if it means you don’t have the storage you require. Remember to factor in space for your computer and keyboard/mouse footprint, stationery, and any personal touches (e.g. fresh flowers, half-eaten breakfast yoghurt, 12 coffee cups… Scratch that, actually. If your desk looks like that, then go back to step one and repeat as necessary)!
3. Your Path to Enlightenment begins with Great Lighting
Good lighting equals bright lights, but great lighting is the natural stuff. Natural light in your workspace is uplifting, motivating, and all-round good for you. Vitamin D, less eye strain, beautiful views of the dogs in the garden… hey! Get out of that, Jaspar! Okay, so having your desk near a big beautiful window view can have a downside – distraction – but on the whole, it’s worth considering. You’ll just need to be careful with your screen placement, you know, so you can see! For night-time or super early morning work, a desk lamp with a soft light (warm white, around 2700K) is a great idea. Lastly, consider candles and fairy lights if you’re wanting a cosy feeling to envelop you while you work (it’s a great vibe for when it’s cold outside).
4. Be A Screen Queen (or King, I’m not biased)
Investing in at least one additional screen is a must. Laptops are great for when you’re on the move (they go on your lap and all). But in a regular workspace, you’ll be more productive and efficient with a full-sized screen that lets you write client reports and analyse statistics simultaneously. Depending on the work you do, you might even consider using three screens. Think less tab shuffling, less picture resizing, and more time spent focused on the task at hand. Remember, it’s about what makes you more efficient, productive, and happier while you work. It might even be tax deductible! I work with my laptop and a screen larger than my first television. It makes me feel like Batman, and that can’t be a bad thing.
5. No Storage Wars!
Listen, I might sound like a mum who’s had not enough sleep and three too many cups of coffee, but PUT YOUR STUFF AWAY! Trying to sift through paperwork, receipts, draft reports, and flower petals (they fall off, I can’t help it!) just doesn’t compute when you want to be your organised, focused, and efficient best self. Create a functional filing system; whether it’s lever arch folders, filing cabinets, or bookshelves. Adhering to the old adage of “a place for everything, and everything in its place” will instantly boost the way you work.
However! It’s all very well and good to buy super cute stationery, a top-of-the-line filing cabinet, or Perspex in/out trays – but if you don’t use them, it’s just more clutter. Schedule a time for filing / folding / tossing / petal collecting in your workspace, the same way you schedule your work tasks, because this is a work task, and it will make you feel on top of the world.
Written by Kristen Boucher