Much of what I write about and work on with clients is largely intangible. It deals with workplace policies, leadership techniques, and interpersonal relationships. But there’s a tangible side to work that often gets neglected. Because so much of our work can be done from anywhere, we don’t necessarily pay much attention to our working environment.
I think that has the potential to be a big mistake. From the visual cues that surround us to our physical posture and the way we break up our time, our physical environment has a lot to do with the quality of work we’re able to produce and how we feel doing it. Here are a couple of changes you may want to consider making to your work environment in order to improve your work and how you feel about it.
Set firm boundaries. The first thing you need to do is set boundaries that are specific, clear, and that work for you. For instance, do you allow yourself to do work in bed? If you do, is your body really able to focus on the task at hand or do you drift in and out of focus? Do you have a schedule? Perhaps from 2-3 you only check email and any extra time is spent reading for pleasure.
Set up your work area intentionally. Nearly every aspect of your area, from how neat or messy it is, to the sound and lighting you are exposed to, can have an effect on the work you ultimately produce. What about your posture? Is your chair supporting your body in the right way or are you considering switching to a standing desk? If you sit near a window, does the natural light help keep your spirits high or does the action outdoors distract you from the task at hand?
Ultimately, these questions are up to you to answer. We all will have slightly different working conditions that are ideal to us. But you need to ask yourself these questions in order to find out what yours is. I’m willing to bet there are three small changes you can identify right now that would make your work environment more comfortable and productive.
Have you recently made an adjustment that has worked well for you? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below.