Love Your Workspace

By Chelsea Babin

Whether you work from a nook in your apartment or a massive, cubicle filled office, your workspace can have significant impact on your mood throughout the day. When your mood is down and dragging, your productivity will be too. Here are a few simple ways to spruce up your space to optimize function and appeal:

1)   Light: Your first priority in your workspace should be ample lighting. Research shows that a lack of windows in an office can negatively affect sleep and productivity. If you work from home, make sure you’re working in a bright, naturally lit room. This is trickier to swing in a larger office, where corner offices occasionally hog all of the windows. If this is the case for your office, try to find a few small light sources you can disperse around your cubicle or a personal lamp if you’re in a more open layout. Adding ample light will keep you focused and help you de-stress. If you’re in need of a little extra natural light, take a walk outside during your breaks. Exposure to light throughout the day is essential for good sleep and it will supercharge your productivity.

2)   Pictures: Nothing says personal quite like adding pictures to your workspace. Whether they’re photos of your family and friends, your last vacation, or your goals, these photos will keep you visually interested in your workspace. On a day when you’re not feeling inspired by your work, these visual motivators will produce positive thoughts and help you get back on track.

3)   Reduced clutter: A messy desk can derail productivity. When stacks of papers and various junk over stimulate your eyes, it will be harder to concentrate. You may find yourself switching between tasks at random and becoming frazzled more easily. Keeping your workspace free from clutter will help your productivity immensely. Visual distractions can become a nuisance when you’re trying to focus, so take the time to clean your desk at least once a week. If you find yourself needing extra drawers or a filing cabinet, let your boss know or learn to scan documents and let go of hard copies when possible. A lack of clutter is not only aesthetically pleasing, it will keep you calmer and more comfortable throughout the day.

4)   Ambiance: Sights, sounds and smells, they’re capable of altering our moods and our productivity. Make sure you aren’t ignoring the sounds and smells of your office! If you find the scent unappealing in your workspace, try to change it up. This is easier to do in a home office where you can purchase air fresheners and candles that are pleasing to you, but in a larger, open office, you’ll want to make sure the scent from your desk isn’t too invasive on other people’s workspace. This may mean sticking perfume samples or loose-leaf tea in the back of your drawer so you can open it up when you need a scent refresher or asking your coworkers nearby if they would object to you having a scent diffuser on your desk. As far as sounds go, headphones are preferable if your job allows. You can listen to Mozart, heavy metal, podcasts or the ambient buzz of Coffitivity, whatever suits your mood and enhances your productivity with the benefit of headphones.

5)   Functionality: The average worker spends at least 40 hours in the office per week, so make sure your space is functional for your needs. If you’re sitting all day in an uncomfortable chair you’ll dread heading to your workspace. Try getting an exercise ball to sit on to switch things up or a standing desk if you’re worried that sitting is the new smoking. Keep your drawers stocked with the supplies you need and have a spare chair nearby if you get frequent visits from your coworkers at your desk. If you have a lot of video-chat meetings, make sure there is a space where you can move your computer so that the background behind you is minimally distracting. Functionality is all in the details—make sure you’re paying attention and adjusting as you see fit!


Don’t dread work every day just because your workspace is less inspiring than you’d like it to be. Get rid of the clutter and the stressors, personalize and add the right functional elements like ample light to reinvigorate your workspace.