For the amount of time we spend at our desks, it's surprising how little effort we put into making our work space a place we actually want to be.
Whether at home or in a corporate environment, the feel we get from the space we work in is innately linked to our productivity. Of course, there are exceptions: some people can work in cluttered spaces, places with no natural light, or sit on an uncomfortable chair without thinking too much about. But for most of us, the more comfortable the place we work in, the easier and more enjoyable it is to be our most productive.
Here are our tips for creating an environment that will improve your work life.
1. Invest in a quality chair. If you're suffering from back or neck ache, straining to reach your desk or generally uncomfortable when sitting, it's worth every penny to buy a chair that's comfortable and ergonomically fitted to the height of your desk.
2. Add greenery. There's research to prove that flowers, plants and general greenery can enhance a person's sense of wellbeing. Called 'restorative environments', psychologists are exploring nature's impact on people's mental functioning, social relationships and even physical well-being. They are also putting this research into practice by working with interior designers, architects and city planners to create psychologically healthy buildings and cities. So consider a pot plant or a gorgeous bunch of peonies, vibrant lilies or Australian natives as an investment in your wellbeing.
3. Make the most of natural light. Just like plant life makes for a conducive workspace, so too does natural light. A study by the University of Surrey found that ensuring we receive adequate light levels at the appropriate time of day benefits our alertness, mood, productivity, sleep patterns and many aspects of our physiology. So move your desk closer to that window, pull down those heavy blinds and get rid of those fluorescent lights.
4. Clear your desk. Try a magazine rack, pin-board or floating shelves to organise and display your work and inspiration. Anything that will encourage you to regularly clear your desk, keep what's important, display what's inspiring or useful and throw out what's no longer needed is a helpful activity to keep your office clutter-free.
5. Hang artwork. A beautiful photo or painting adds interest and life to a space. It shows off your personality and turns a generic room into your own sanctuary. If you're unsure about your own personal style and don't want to make a big investment straight away, choose an affordable print, then you can upgrade to a similar limited-edition version once you know the piece is right for you.
Take a look at some of our favourite office spaces below...
All images from our Pinterest page.