Or making your office “station,” work friendly (aka productive)
I’m old enough to remember when you were not allowed to personalise your work area, that you had to keep it neat and tidy and you were not allowed to move from your desk. Going to the toilet was even an added nightmare. In short: no distractions were allowed to stop you from being productive.
Of course, I struggled with that and right from the get go, made whatever space I had, mine 😉
A long time ago, I worked on the ground floor of a two storey building. It was an important state government agency (well, we liked to think so) – a place of very serious business.
I was fortunate enough to have my own cubicle – a decent sized work space. I was off to the left hand side, in the line of cubicles representing the more senior positions.
In my cubicle I had Prudence, my guitar, a number of plants, a fish tank, a radio, a thousand and one knick knacks and some very nice family photos. I also had a floor to ceiling window.
There was a clear line of site from the front entrance to the left, through the customer service area and straight into my cubicle. Anyone walking in off the street could see Prudence behind me off to the left hand side.
Prudence is a hat stand. So, you would certainly see my hat resting on her.
One day I was sitting there minding my own business (which is code for working extremely hard) when one of the customer service staff said to me there was a customer at the front counter who wanted to talk to me about Prudence.
So, I went over and introduced myself. The customer in question complimented me on Prudence and asked if I would sell her to him for a serious amount of money. I politely declined the offer stating that Prudence was an 18th birthday present for my wife.
This wasn’t the first or last time such an offer was made. However, it was proof positive that I was human, the office as a whole was welcoming and not all customers are cranky.
Whether you have an office, a cubicle, a separate desk or a grouped desk in an open office, there is a wide range of information out there on how to create that perfect, creative work space – even for those of us working from home. One of the very positive aspects that has materialised during COVID – is that it has challenged the very notion of how we work and use the spaces available to us.
Just to be clear here, I’m not talking about whether the company or person you work for has a gym, play room, sleep room, a child daycare, swimming pool or is Google.
My view has always been how you inhabit your work space (station) is up to you. However, you do need to bear in mind that you shouldn’t be impacting on coworkers or team mates if you share the same space. The home CEO struggles with this one a bit – what space is mine, is hers 😂
Despite what many experts have said out there regarding minimising distractions in your work area, I have never been distracted by having a window with a view, the fish tank or items given to me by former staff. The reason is simple: these “distractions” help me relax and then gather focus when I need to.
I do understand though, there are those people who need peace and quiet when working. A “power hour” can help with this, or perhaps being quiet at certain times is part of the team’s rules. You can even explore the use of “portable booths.”
Five Considerations When Maximising Your Work Space
I think of my work space as my ultimate working tool. My five broad considerations when it comes to maximising such a space are:
- Is my work space safe and ergonomically sound? I know some of you like standing desks. My bunion on my right foot tells me otherwise 🤣
- What resources do I need with me? This is as simple as stationery, calendar, a stress ball/cube or worry monk 😂
- Can I put my favourite sayings on display somewhere? Is there a spot or two for a photo or a knick knack?
- Is there a place for my cup or glass and a coaster to match?
- Will any of these items impact on those next to me or around me?
When I have use of an office, my considerations are an extension to the above five points. Do I need a whiteboard? Do I need a bookcase? Do I need another work/meeting table? Do I need additional chairs?
Do I need to install a barricade outside the office door? 🤣 Overall, is my office inviting to others!
I have shared some links at the end of this post on a range of ways to personalise and make your work area both fun and productive.
What do you do with your workspace?
Some other insightful links
Zenbooth How to Make Your Office Space Look Fun Yet Professional
Smartworks Fun Things That You Can Do in a Coworking Spaces
Capital One Bringing the Office Home: Set Up a Home Workspace That Inspires Productivity