3 Ways to Make Your Workspace Work for You

Productivity experts agree that a curated workspace positively impacts productivity and mood, but oftentimes we settle for bland desks and cubicles that lack personalized details or considerations for workflow. Why miss out on the opportunity to optimize your surroundings when it could brighten your day—and boost your performance? Keep in mind some of these tactics to make your workspace your own and reap the benefits along the way.

  1. Determine your working style and decorate accordingly.

For the creative set, a colorful and art-filled workspace can inspire fresh ideas and reduce stress. Likewise, casual yet aesthetically pleasing furniture, accessories, and décor set an inviting yet functional mood. A pop of color from an office tool—even something as basic as a stapler—can inject a sense of fun and modernism into your daily tasks. For the more analytical, right-brained worker, clean lines and zero clutter go a long way. A few well-chosen personal photos in tasteful, unassuming frames can provide a motivating connection to the world beyond the office, while accessories and supplies that are sleek, monochrome, and contemporary inspire a sense of calm efficiency.

  1. Build a workspace with your daily routine in mind.

If you find yourself spending hours on the phone per day, or assembling stacks of documents and brochures, or even coming and going from the office with frequency—there are simple adjustments you can make to your workspace that will save you time and energy. If you sit for long hours—responding to e-mails or making calls—try incorporating an ergonomic chair or keyboard wrist-pad to maximize comfort. If you spend a long time assembling presentation materials, then file organizers, trays, and easy-to-pull labels can shave valuable time off your efforts. Lastly, those who step out for frequent meetings can reduce the hassle of being on-the-go by making your space mindfully organized—a coatrack and a dish for your keys by the door, an auto-brew coffeemaker, or an easily edited whiteboard calendar can make jet-setting simpler.

  1. Add easy details that enrich your working experience.

While organization and décor can rally productivity and mood, there are also a few extra details you can introduce to your workspace to improve the quality of your working life. Healthy, easy to grab-and-go snacks—think nuts, homemade trail mix, and fresh fruit—can keep your energy up without the sugar crush or guilt. If there’s a window nearby, a hard-to-kill plant like a philodendron or a fern not only cleanse the air around you, but also provide a welcome connection to the natural world. Being prepared in a pinch is another great way to make your workspace work for you: a spare tie, a tube of lip balm, hand sanitizer, or a box of Band-Aids can save you a trip to the store when an unexpected need arises.

While we take great pains to make our homes our sanctuaries—complete with the decorations, furniture, and food we favor—we often overlook our work areas, even though we spend a sizable portion of our week sitting at the same desk. Challenge yourself to add a few of these personalizing, productivity-boosting details to your work area and bring the comfort of home to your working life.