There are many aspects to being happy at work and fulfilling your potential as a true Productivity Ninja. Getting on with your colleagues, career progression, earning enough money – these are all very important parts of enjoying your job. However, something that often gets overlooked in its importance is creating a happy office space.
Your working environment, the space in which you go about your day-to-day duties, can have a tremendous impact on your creativity, productivity and overall happiness, so by just making a few simple changes, you can make your office space a haven of happiness and a palace of productivity. Similarly, if you’re an employer, these tips could really help you get the most out of your workforce, which can only be good for your business!
Create a Productive Desk Space
If you, like many of us, spend most of our days sat at a desk, then it’s essential that your desk space is organised in a way that allows you to work to the best of your abilities.
You might hear some people say that your desk has to be free from clutter, but that isn’t necessarily the case – the most important thing is that you have a desk space that works for you. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that disorder actually produces creativity. Take tech geniuses Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, for example. Steve Jobs used to prefer a messier workstation, whereas Bill Gates likes to have everything neat and tidy. Again, whatever works best for you.
Inject Some Greenery into the Office
The benefits of plants, trees and other greenery are obvious when we’re outdoors, but you can quite easily bring all those fabulous benefits into the office.
You don’t have to turn your office or desk into a jungle; just the odd potted plant here and there can work wonders. According to this article, plants can indeed raise job satisfaction, increase productivity, and improve well-being, as well as various health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Seems a like a no-brainer to pop some plants around the office!
Have Communal Areas
No matter how amazing your desk space is, having nowhere else to go during breaks and lunchtimes isn’t great for morale, and doesn’t lend itself to a productive and harmonious working environment.
It’s not always easy, especially if you have a small office, but you should try and create somewhere for workers to congregate, relax, and generally spend some time away from their desks. This will improve bonding and relationship building within the office, resulting in a much happier overall environment.
And if you have somewhere to spend some time away from your desk, ensure you take advantage of it, and encourage others to do the same.
We all have times when we’re swamped with work, but it’s vital we take a bit of time to look at something other than a computer screen and get a change of scenery. Sitting down for too long isn’t good for you, so by standing up and moving around more, everyone is much more likely to stay healthy, which is definitely conducive to a happy office space.
Increase Natural Light
Obviously for some offices, reconstructive building work would need to take place here, which is unlikely to be option. However, if you sit with the blinds down all day, or sit at a desk where there’s little natural light, then you should try and let a little more light into your life.
The reason for this is that Northwestern University research has shown that natural light in the office can boost health and improve quality of life. Who doesn’t want that?
Speak to your Staff
If you’re a manager, then it’s all too easy to become snowed under in your own work and forget what’s going on with those on your team. This can particularly be the case if you have your own office away from everyone else. Remember to check in with your team every now and again and find out how they’re getting on, both professionally and personally.
Ask about the work they’re doing, but also show an interest in their lives outside of work. This will help promote team morale and let them know you’re interested in them and what they’re doing.
Keep on moving the office furniture about and the team is still not motivated enough? Maybe it’s time to get a Productivity Ninja into the office and host Email Training, sharpen Meeting Skills or just generally attend some Time Management Workshops.
By Chris Thomson
Chris Thomson is a digital marketing manager with an interest in productivity and office culture. He has spoken at various conferences and is currently writing his first book on the subject. He writes for various websites including JFK Binding.