5 Things That Will Make Your Desk (And Job) More Awesome

If you don't control the office thermostat and you can't teleport your desk to beside the window, what can you do to make your workspace feel more wonderful? Glad you asked.

Where we work shapes how we work.

Feeling too cold is a physical distraction: Your body tries to solve the problem of keeping warm rather than solving the problem on your computer screen. Artificial light dims you down: You need a daily dose of sunlight to ward off sleepiness.

But if you don't control the office thermostat and you can't teleport your desk to beside the window, what can you do to make your workspace feel more wonderful? Work with your desk itself.

As PsyBlog notes, research shows a little desktop tinkering goes a long way.

1) Deciding on your (dis)order

Our pal Albert Einstein once quipped that if a cluttered desk signals a cluttered mind, then what, my friend, does an empty desk signal?

As PsyBlog notes, it can signal the way you work:

An experiment (described here) found that messy desks tended to encourage more creativity, while tidy desks encouraged conformity and general good moral behavior.

2) Closing off the open plan.

As we've noted before, the open-plan office was supposed to be a radically progressive way of arranging a workspace--though research suggests the progress may have stopped.

First of all, the team spirit such clamoring constellations are to engender is not to be found; second, they create massive amounts of distraction; and third, you can indeed survive them.

3) When collaborating, go for curves.

Your furniture predicts our functioning in collaboration, too: People sitting at circular desks have been found to be more team-oriented than people at square desks--the sharp corners, it seems, sign sharp individualism.

4) The power of plants

People who have plant life in their life can restore their attention by taking in their desk-side greenery, a Norwegian study suggests.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2010.11.005

5) Getting personal

Even if you don't have a home office, you can bring your home to your office. Or at least make it more homelike. And hopefully not homely.

Why do you want to home-inize your office? Because it helps you work better: In one study, office folk who were empowered to decorate their spaces as they saw fit were more productive and reported higher levels of well-being.

So get your cat posters ready.

Related Story: 11 Desk Objects That Will Make Your Co-Workers Think You're A Total Lunatic

Hat tip: Psyblog

[Image: Flickr user Jellaluna]

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2 Comments

  • Natalierrizzo

    I've found that busy people have cluttered desks, while those with neat, organized desks tend to do less work in general.

  • Rikie

    A cluttered desk is because the user adjust the desk so that everything he needs is within his reach.