For most people, the place where they feel most comfortable is their home. Whether it is big or small, old or new, full or empty, people’s homes contain many of the things (& people) which are most important to them and make them feel good. However, professionals spend the majority of their waking hours away from their homes at their workplace in offices which don’t engender these same feelings. Many of the features which make home so welcoming and accommodating are sadly missing from most offices leaving them dull, lifeless and generic. Imagine if your office could make you feel the same way you do when you're sitting in your favourite room at home. It doesn’t take much to tweak your office space make it feel more homey and less like you're doing 25 to life.
Add Some Personality
Too many offices look more like jail cells than somewhere you would like to spend 8 hours a day for most of the week trying to be as productive as possible. Your house and the things it contains are a good reflection of your personality and for your office to feel truly comfortable it should be the same. To add some personality to your office you can pepper it with photographs, momentos and other things which remind you of 'life on the outside'. Doing this will not only make the space more enjoyable for you to work from, but it will also give co-workers an insight into your personal side and may assist you in connecting with them on a different level.
Think About Function
When you think about it, each room in your house has a clear purpose. Bedrooms are for sleeping, kitchens are for cooking and dining rooms are for eating and entertaining - each room is set up for its function. Many people do not fully consider how the different elements of their office space come together to ensure it is best setup for its function. Have you ever cooked a meal in a kitchen where all of the utensils and ingredients are at your fingertips, it makes things pretty easy doesn’t it? Your office should be set up the same way - with everything you need to complete your daily tasks within easy reach and in a place where you always know where it is.
Make It Clean & Clutter Free
Clutter and dirt creates distractions which take your mind off the task at hand and put a dent in your productivity. Too many offices look like a paper tornado has ripped through leaving a trail of devastation. Most people set aside time to clean their house on a regular basis to ensure it remains a comfortable place for them to live in day to day. However few set aside time in their work day to clean their desk and office. The simple act of clearing your office of extraneous items and giving it a regular clean can completely change the feel of the space, making it a much more appealing place to spend time.
Take The Lead From Nature
Many people feel their best when they are outside with the sun on their back and the wind in their hair. Unfortunately, too many offices don’t replicate these natural conditions which has an adverse effect on people’s mental and physical wellbeing. Many studies have shown that bringing elements of nature - such as natural light & living plants - into your office can have a huge impact on productivity and general wellbeing. Research has shown that office staff who are stuck in windowless offices - or with little exposure to natural light - get on average 46 fewer minutes of sleep a night. Those who sit near a window were found to have less broken sleep and a better quality of life than employees deprived of daylight.
A few small tweaks to the way you design and interact with your office space can make it a place that you really enjoy spending time. Hopefully these tips help you to get more out of your workday, or at least ensure it doesn't feel like a life sentence.
What do you do to make your office space feel a little bit more like home?