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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hat tip: Psyblog
[Image: Flickr user Jellaluna]