Many of us may just need a desk, a laptop, and Wifi to get our day started, but having a positivity-filled, productive day requires so much more. We spend most of our waking hours at work, which makes putting effort into creating the best possible environment all the more important.
Read on as we identify the main culprits slowing down your creative juices & productivity in the office, and what changes you can start making right away!
Personalising your office or desk is important for feeling more at home when you’re at work. Feeling comfortable, or close to things you feel connected to, can help you feel more confident and relaxed. Whether it’s a special piece home decor or a framed photo of your pet, seeing things that represent who you are is makes the space one you’re happy to spend time in.
Aside from the beautiful, lush vibes that plants bring, they’re also essential for purifying and detoxifying your indoor space. Studies have shown that houseplants have a direct effect on reducing stress by cleaning the air through photosynthesis and the microbes in their potting soil. Some houseplants that are purifying are: Spider Plant, Bamboo Palm, Boston Fern, Peace Lily, Dracaena, Aloe, English Ivy, Snake Plant, and Bamboo Palm.
This may sound obvious, but many of us forget the importance of ventilating our workspace daily. Stagnant indoor air is among the most serious environment risks to health, as it often contains pollutants that can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea, just to name a few. While it may be difficult to get rid of all the items affect your air quality (e.g. building materials, upholstery, cleaning products, etc.), it’s really easy to turn it around by simply opening a window every couple of hours.
We all know clutter to be a huge culprit for causing stress, but another reason to keep your desk completely clean is to keep those sick-day inducing germs at bay. As a place where we eat, drink coffee, come back to after meetings, and sneeze, desks can very easily turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. Having a tidy desks makes it easier for you to regularly wipe it down and sanitise.
Feng Shui is the Chinese tradition of managing the energy of your space, which can help you better channel creativity, and work productively. The practice is based on rearranging items in your home or office in a way that maximises utility and harmony. Feng Shui is an expansive subject in itself, but an example would be orienting your desk to face the main door to the office, which is a more ‘commanding position’. For more tips, see here.
No one’s a fan of fluorescent office lights, but the science behind indoor lighting goes much deeper. Aside from using as much natural light as possible, it’s important to understand which type of lighting works better for your cognitive function (i.e. cool vs. warm). Studies have shown that lighting temperatures correlate to long-term memory and problem-solving. Additionally, exposure to blue light has shown to be able to improve performance due to our eyes’ ability to detect short-wavelength blue hues.
Even for those of us who are not especially sensitive to smells, having to deal with your neighbour’s curry lunch is never easy. Using essential oils is not only a lifesaver in such instances, they’ve also proven to have a direct effect on our cognition and mood. Grapefruit & peppermint are great for concentration, and combating mental fatigue or the mid-afternoon slump.
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
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Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash
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