By Niki Schafer
Step 1. De-clutter
Where do you work? Look around you. What inspires you? What distracts you? What will you see that will make you get back to work and what will you linger over and make you daydream for a while?
Get rid of the un-necessaries. File away the paperwork you don't need and empty the bin. Let the clarity of the area around you clear your head.
Step 2. Co-ordinate
What colours can you see? Do they make an impression on you? Does the white feel clinical and cold or calm and professional? Does the red perk you up or distract your attention? Does the blue calm your nerves and reassure you during moments of angst and overwhelm, or does it not even catch your eye?
Create a colour and decorative scheme that promotes productivity. Get rid of overwhelming colours or displays - it's a delicate balance to find sources of inspiration without being overly distracted. Make sure your displays send you the right messages - work hard, smile, do one thing at a time.
Step 3. Promote wellbeing
What can you see out of the window? Is it next door's brick wall or a stunning view of the park? What natural light do your windows give you? Are you aware of the progress the day is making or are you stuck in artificial light, popping pills to cope with the headaches?
Get the window desk with your next promotion. And if you're the boss then promote yourself immediately and move your desk into the natural light. Avoid direct light on computer screens as this will cause glare but make sure you position yourself in a way that will benefit from morning sunshine and the changes in the sky on a late afternoon. Even if it is just to watch the rain.
Step 4. Understand ergonomics
What are you sitting on? How are your feet positioned? Your arms? Your back? Is your neck stiff? Are your eyes aching from staring at the screen? Roll them round, stretch them into every corner of your eye socket. Stick your tongue out and stretch your mouth open wide. No one is watching. (Well except the cute guy from accounts... )
Even your boss knows you should be seated comfortably. She doesn't want you ringing in with back pain or RSI. It's your responsibility to make sure you're comfy at work though. How many hours are you there? How much time do you spend in that chair? How much of your life has your butt been on that perch? Work it out. Then adjust your seat. Or add a cushion. Or get the Swiss Ball out and blow it up again (if you can find the pump).
We're working silly hours. Some of us work long into the night, some of us get up at the crack of dawn and some just wish the 9-5 away and wait for the weekend. It's time to recognize how much time you spend at your desk and make it a better happier, healthier place to be. For no other reason than accepting sickly, miserable and uninspiring spaces is just a ridiculous idea.
Together Creating Positive Spaces
Niki Schafer is a professional interior designer, speaker and author of Creating Space - a design guide for thinking women. Check out her work at:
Interior Designer: http://www.dwell-being.co.uk