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Ever found yourself coming round from a daydream at work and seeing the time is 3:30pm and you have absolutely no idea what you’ve achieved since lunch? Offices can be fairly claustrophobic spaces. The monotonous sound of typing and mouse clicking, repetitively ringing phones, the lack of fresh air and the blinding artificial lights are enough to get anyone down. Deadlines mount up, the workload increases and you feel like you never see the light of day, especially during the winter months.
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There are various schools of thought that suggest that a mere change of surroundings or an adjustment of how you lay out your work space can actually increase your productivity. Small changes can easily be made around your work space to make you more productive. It may sound cliché but making those changes and improving your own performance genuinely has a filter down effect on your morale.
If you’re someone who doesn’t really care what you get done, just as long as you’re out the door at 5pm on the dot, then don’t bother reading on. If you wish you could be a better employee and even (shock, horror) ENJOY your 9 to 5, then have a read of these tips to make you want to work. Although I’m not suggesting you become a feng shui convert, it is a widely accepted fact that rearranging your office or working space can have a profoundly positive effect.
Here are five ideas to get you started:
1. Start by de-cluttering your desk: throw away any unnecessary paperwork, organise your files and add a personal item that makes you feel happy when you look at it (e.g. a picture of your family or a comical desk toy).
2. Consider ‘scenting’ your office environment. You know how evocative a smell can be? A light and neutral scent can clear your mind and delight your senses in a way that increases your professional focus. Enjoy breathing again!
3. Adorn your working space with office plants. Plants make your working environment a more pleasant place, contributing to stress relief and improving the air quality. There are thousands of species of plants that each have their own benefits and qualities, so do some research and pick a few plants that you could welcome into your work space. Also, whether you work from home or have a private office at work, the presence of some well tended to plants greatly improve a visitor’s perception of your office.
4. Undertake a little interior landscaping. Budget providing, treat your office to a few relics or decorations that feel good to you. Get rid of that ugly chair your old work colleagues donated, get a flat screen monitor and take down the generic pictures and replace them with inspiring artwork that makes you smile every time you look up. You spend on average 9 hours a day in this space, make it yours! If you have the space, consider making one little corner a relaxation area.
5. If you have scheduled breaks throughout your day, get up and take a walk. Fresh air and exercise re-energises and releases endorphins, thus giving your productivity a boost when you return to your seat. If you need to make phone calls, stand up and walk around your office (provided you have a head set or portable handset) while you make these calls. Standing up and moving about will inject energy into your body and voice, giving you a tone of confidence, whilst also being beneficial for your joints and muscles.
These simple changes will go a long way in improving your disposition and motivation. Your office will be a pleasanter place to come to, your work will benefit from this change of attitude and colleagues will notice the difference. Additionally at home, try and get a good night’s sleep, reduce your caffeine intake and make sure you make time for your loved ones. Work doesn’t have to be a chore; take the steps to improve your own quality of life and work!
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