As leaders in the flexible workspace industry, we get to see our fair share of desks. We pride ourselves on providing the best possible framework for our Members to carry out their day-to-day. We also appreciate that job and industry specifications vary across our network, not to mention the fact that a workspace is an incredibly personal and individual thing. Beyond industry standards, there is an important relationship between space and an individual’s personality and working preferences. Ownership of a workspace impacts not only baseline productivity, but also efficiency and satisfaction levels. Integrating a fully functional space with touches that inspires creativity, pre-empts physical or mental fatigue and helps maintains focus is easily achieved via a few simple steps. We’re here to share simple tips and tricks to help you establish a truly productive work environment.
Know What You Need
Creating the ideal desk set up will vary depending on your industry and what is required of you on a day-to-day basis, be it constant and unwavering focus, mobility or creative output. Knowing yourself, your work style, your behaviour and habits, your style and interests is vital even if these are criteria that are often overlooked in a professional environment. There are four primary considerations when creating your workspace; functionality, wellbeing, aesthetics and personality. Each of these criteria work synergistically to provide you with the ideal workspace and are weighted differently depending on the individual. We identified four archetypes to showcase these concepts and their application;
- The Non-conforming Traditionalist
- The Wellness Innovator
- The Cultured Creative
- The Business Traveler
The Non-conforming Traditionalist | Elements of old and new combined to make an ideal working environment.
The Wellness Innovator | If wellness at work is a priority for you, this setup is inspiration for your own desk and workspace.
The Cultured Creative | Innovation is vital to professional development and is only possible with constant inspiration and stimulation.
The Travelling Professional | Business travel is an increasing norm in our professional landscape today. Make the most out of your temporary space and your trip.
Functionality covers equipment, facilities, ease of use, practicality, organisation and the nature of your work. It also includes your way of working. Given that we rely more and more on technology in the office environment, internal data shows that the average desk size has shrunk over the last 10 years. A more compact set up shouldn’t mean compromising on important objects that help you work. It does mean that being organised is absolutely essential. Keeping everything you need at hand, but out of sight maintains a professional appearance and helps manage clutter and mess.
As a major trend in office design and innovation, workplace wellness aids both mental and physical wellbeing. Including elements such as light, inspiring objects and ergonomically designed accessories have a direct impact on professional and personal performance. Providing our Members with adjustable desks from 9AM and the ergonomic mastery that is assured with each Herman Miller chair delivers the essentials for a healthier workplace.
Smaller touches that provide mental stimulation or promote muscle function can also be incorporated. Staying hydrated and making space for some energy fuelling-snacks is one way to help consistency throughout the day – nuts and seeds are great healthy fats and supply muscles with a source of quick energy. Including scents like lemon, lavender, jasmine or peppermint are also thought to promote productivity. Adding an egg timer to take short breaks between tasks can help too depending on your work style. A desk plant, constant movement, well matched and inspired music choices, task variation- the list goes on. It’s very much a case of trying to see what works for you.
Everyone has a personal taste and a way they like things to look. Aesthetics take a slightly more considered approach when it comes to curating a space to work. There are things like balance, levels, symmetry, cohesion and angles that can be controlled to compose a space that looks refined and professional. Anchoring the desk should be key tools, things like a laptop or desktop and dominant accessories. From here, work to build around it anything you might need easy access to, books, notebooks and filing systems. Creating a dynamic yet organised desktop might seem contradictory. However, this can be achieved by keeping items at parallel and perpendicular angles while making sure there is a visual complexity that draws the eye to different levels and maintains continuity in the colours.
‘Work life balance’ is a concept which is in many ways totally redundant and ill aligned with the current way of working. The convergence of the professional and personal is something which many feel is evolving and becoming an inherent, expected element of work. Having a space that reflects who you are, what you stand for and that makes you feel comfortable is key to enjoying your work. It also promotes less formal interactions and breaks down traditional barriers that have discouraged social communication. Personal touches could be anything from a family photograph, a cheesy souvenir from your last holiday or a figurine of a collegiate mascot.