“In my studio I’m as happy as a cow in her stall.” That’s a quote from Dawn & Dusks (1976) by author Louise Nevelson. I love that. Do you feel like that—like a cow in her stall (a happy cow, that is)—when you’re working? No, no, I’m not crazy. Just trying to help you imagine that it is possible to make your workspace an area that helps you do your job well. Employee development is comprised of all sorts of bits and pieces, from training workshops that teach people how to dress appropriately to those that show workers how to get along on teams. But there are some other aspects, perhaps on the obvious side, of people’s workspaces that should be considered. When we like our work environments we tend to do our jobs better.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I feel at home in my workspace?
- Do I feel isolated in my workspace?
- What would make my space a pleasant place to be?
- Have I surrounded myself with objects that have meaning for me?
- Do I keep my space organized?
- Am I more productive in a calm environment or in one with more activity?
- Does the atmosphere support my needs?
If you can’t create your perfect workspace, try first and foremost to create an area that helps you focus. If you work for a company that has very specific rules about decorating the office, see what kind of latitude you’re allowed and then do what you can to create an environment that is going to make it a more pleasant place to be. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But even if you can’t create the office of your dreams, you can infuse a little bit of your personality into your space.
If, like me (not always though) your office gets a little, well, cluttered, enlist some help from one of your neat freak (and that’s a term of endearment; honest) colleagues, preferably someone who’s neither judgmental nor likely to abandon you because your case seems hopeless.
But seriously, when our desks are too cluttered our lives, especially our work lives, reflect all that extra stuff. I deal with it all the time. Let’s face it: I’d rather work than clean. But if you read a recent posting you’ll know that I’m working on that theory that says cleaning your workplace is work.