A new year calls for a new modern office, but more importantly: it’s a wonderful time to reassess your current personal work space and make improvements. Tiny changes can lead to big jumps in stress reduction, productivity, creativity and comfort. Whether you work in a modular cubicle or a spacious private office, here are our suggestions to help you start off the new year with a healthy, happy personal work space.
Clear the Mental Clutter
When you have papers and accessories crowding your desk or tabletop, your eye is continually drawn to the items that are simply “hanging out” while you try to work. Decide how much on your desk can be stored, shredded, filed, or thrown away this week. Commit to an hour of cleaning up and clearing out drawers and refreshing personal items such as pictures or travel gifts. Freshening up your desk requires two steps:
- clear the clutter
- refine your focus
After you’ve cleaned up your desk and personal space, assess what you need to refine your focus on daily tasks. Perhaps this requires a new lamp, rearranging your desk toward a window or privacy wall, adding a hook next to your computer for noise-canceling headphones, or arranging for acoustic panels on the ceiling or around you to reduce noise.
Modernize Your Storage Space
Do you have enough, or too much, storage space? Look at how your filing cabinets, drawers, and cubbies are arranged in your office with the two-fold goal of making them necessary and convenient to use. For example, if you have reduced paper usage in your office, you may no longer need a second filing cabinet and could move or shred old documents. This will free up space for more desk room or a guest task chair. If you don’t have enough storage space, modern filing systems offer modular solutions so you can build what you need to go up and over your work space. Discuss options with HR and Operations teams to get the greenlight on filing purchases.
Choose Your Chair Wisely
One of the worst things you can do for your posture and productivity is delay your investment in a good office chair. Studies show that the hours we spend sitting in our office directly affect our health, so it pays in the long term to find a chair that makes you feel great and is adjustable to help you get the job done. Do you need a chair with a high back or mid-height back? Do you need soft seating or mesh? A breathable back fabric? Wheels? Adjustments for height and tilt? If there are extra office chairs available, try out a couple of different styles for a week each to see how you feel, then purchase.
Set Up Seating For Collaborative Work
More and more commercial offices are encouraging collaborative design for smaller conferences, meetings, brainstorming groups and partner work. As a result, many employees find themselves jumping from space to space throughout the day for a quick sit-down with colleagues. If you have visitors frequently popping their heads in to ask a question or meet “for a minute,” consider adding a collaborative work area to your space. This will lessen the instances of people awkwardly standing around or hanging over you at your desk. A collaborative work area can be as simple as adding an extra task chair to your space, or as elegant as a collaborative table complete with seating for four and an integrated video conferencing system.
Your personal work space has major potential in the coming year. Take some time now to look around and make a list of small improvements, then run the list by any decision-makers who can help you get the productivity tools and modern office furniture you need to be successful.