The Atmosphere of Your Workspace Changes Your Productivity, and Your Health
Office workers and remote workers alike can recognize the powerful creative energy or a new or satisfyingly ergonomic workspace. It’s easy to tell when a workspace is inspiring us to do our most creative problem solving, and it should be just as obvious when it’s doing you more harm than good personally and professionally.
The atmosphere of your workspace, whether it’s a corporate office, shared workspace, coffee shop, or your home office, affects both your health and productivity. Luckily, you can make changes even when working from home to improve your fulfillment, productivity, and cognitive function.
We’ll also tell you what key atmospheric elements can help make you your best-performing employee or entrepreneur.
Atmosphere and Physical Health
By now, many of us are aware of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, so whether you’re working from home or a corporate office, your workspace should allow and encourage movement within and outside of it. Cramping yourself into a cluttered space and staying seated there for hours at a time isn’t good for anyone. It can create postural issues, cause weight gain, and lead to a slew of related health complications. Over time a sedentary, stationary 8-hour workday can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Set up your workspace to encourage movement by keeping it clutter-free and setting a timer to take a stretch or quick walk every 30-45 minutes. You can also replace your old office chair with a stability ball to encourage core strength, stability, and postural improvements. If sitting still in your workspace is a struggle, you could also buy an under-the-desk stationary pedaling bike, a grip strength improvement tool, or stress ball to turn your fidgeting into mindful, productive movement.
Visual impairments like poor lighting and other atmospheric pollutants like poorly circulated indoor air can also complicate your vision and breathing over time. Poor air quality and poor lighting sources can also promote migraines and tension headaches as your minor increases in efforts to see and breath become chronic.
Swap out poor light sources and stuffy air by working near a window, if possible. Update old light fixtures and replace air filters if working from home. Buy an air purifier or dehumidifier, if needed. Don’t skimp on the air and light quality in your workspace if you’re trying to get creative or solve a business problem.
Keyboard users are at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome and other wear within the wrists. Make sure your keyboard is designed to allow you to type comfortably and without fatigue. If you spend a lot of time typing, take time to allow your hands to rest comfortably at your sides, and practice hand and wrist movements that promote blood flow.
Atmosphere and Mental Health
Remote workers have exceptional difficulty separating their workday from life stressors, which may be occurring in the same room, in real-time. While those working within a corporate office have physical boundaries between work stressors and life stressors, it’s important for both types of employees to find a healthy work-life balance.
Mental health can also be affected by things like fulfillment and productivity in your role, the recurring annoyances throughout your day, your routine, and your level of organization.
One thing you can do to help bolster good mental health while working from home is to make sure your space is clean and organized, welcoming, and have an atmosphere that is pleasing to you. This might be a stimulating atmosphere with high tempo, upbeat music, brightly lit workspaces, and intense colors. It might also be softly lit, quiet, and formal. Whatever you do, find what works for you, and set yourself up for success by designing your space accordingly.
Atmosphere and Productivity
Time management experts typically offer a few common tips for boosting productivity in the workplace and elsewhere. These include staying organized, maintaining a schedule and other healthy habits, and prioritizing the ergonomics of your space.
Your workspace should be set up to encourage free-flowing thought and facilitate the smooth transmission of thought to product or outcome. If repeated workplace distractions like pet commotion, texts or phone calls from friends and family, neighbor noise, or discomfort with your furniture, equipment, or environment are a normal part of your workday, they cost you productivity.
Creating a positive atmosphere is the key to increasing and maintaining productivity.
What Makes a Positive Atmosphere
One thing many remote workers claim to miss most about corporate work-life is the positive workplace culture. A positive culture can increase professional productivity, build confidence and communication skills within a team. If you’re working remotely, you are now your own workplace culture. That means it’s up to you to define and build the environment you work best in.
Personal touches within your work from home space can also encourage a positive atmosphere, as long as they don’t distract you. Many people like to frame and display pictures of loved ones or favorite life events to create a positive atmosphere at work. For some, sounds, scents, and sensations like heat, humidity, and fresh air make the difference. Others need vibrantly colored gel pens and Elvis Pressley stationary to liven the mood. Find what materials, environments, and behaviors encourage your best work, and make your workspace perfect for you.
Shaking Up Your Workspace Vibe
If you’re feeling stagnant or uninspired in your workspace, it might be time to mix up your workplace design. Sometimes, a home office overhaul is in order for the sake of your sanity and productivity. Sometimes, replacing home office furniture will do it.
If you’re unable or unwilling to invest a significant amount of money in a potentially temporary workspace, there are small changes you can make. Something as small as new air fresheners, a new candle, a small potted plant, or a new wall calendar might be enough to inspire and sustain your interest in the workday.
A private office or shared workspace rental is another small investment that can carry inspiration and positivity a long way. Sometimes, there aren’t enough changes that you can make to a space that’ll encourage your workflow and critical thinking the way a short-term workspace rental will.
Short term rentals are always clean, organized, and beautifully designed to encourage you to put your most professional foot forward. They’ll break you out of your work-from-home funk and help you reimagine your professional ambitions. Best of all, they’ll allow you to experience the camaraderie of workplace culture with other like-minded and driven professionals.