You know the adage you are what you eat. What about you, are you your environment? Do you know that your physical environment can affect your creativity and your productivity? Here are 5 areas that you can “refresh” that will make a world of difference for you and your team. And the great news is that these are very cost effective!
Paper-– consider the following ideas to clear paper clutter:
- Scan and save documents on shared drives for easy access
- Color coordinate your files. This helps with quick retrieval and has the added benefit of putting you in the right frame of mind by associating a color to a task; e.g. accounting in red folders, business development/vendors in green folders, and so on.
Computer and software
- Unsubscribe! To lists, to people, to companies. There are services like unroll.me or mailstrom.co that simplify the process. Taking control of your inbox will make going through your emails more efficient.
- Make sure your virus software is up to date. And while you’re at it, how about your email, accounting or any other software you use– are they up to date? Is everyone in your office using the same versions?
- Start the year off with a 2019 folder in your email inbox. Put all 2018 emails into a general 2018 folder. Start the year by regularly deleting what needs to be deleted and filing what needs to be filed. Wouldn’t it be nice to come in to work and see only the emails from the previous week or day instead of the hundreds or thousands of emails you see now??
- Dust your computer screen and clean/disinfect your keyboard and mouse.
- Make adjustments to reduce eye stress and strain: e.g. adjust the brightness of your screen, adjust the auto font size, and/or consider adding anti blue light filters to your monitors
- Your desk–check the height of your desk and computer keyboard and screen.
- I wrote an article about the negative effects on your health of too much sitting, so with that in mind, consider a stand up desk.
- We recently changed the chairs in our office (after too many years) and it has made an enormous difference. We are all sitting taller and with the proper support. This reduces fatigue and improves circulation.
- Do you have plants in your office? Live ones have health benefits, and the aesthetic effect of artificial plants can be equally beneficial.
- Don’t forget about your sense of smell– difusers can be used as well as air fresheners to make your work environment welcoming and energizing (just make sure no one has allergies!).
- When was the last time you painted your office? Is it time for a refresh? Another color? Another style? New surroundings stimulate productivity and creativity.
- The color red is stimulating and motivating
- The color green promotes positive growth, calmness and balance
- The color yellow is associated with optimism and happiness and enhances memory and creative thought
- The color blue is calming and promotes trust and efficiency
Light and noise
- Natural lighting is the best option, but a desk lamp can provide warm ambient light that can enhance productivity.
- Turn off notification sounds on your electronic devices. These are distracting and interrupt your concentration and creativity flow. Consider a white noise machine to make it easier to concentrate in a team environment.
Layout and office flow
- Have you outgrown your physical space? If clutter is the reason, refer back to the ideas above. If you have more employees, congratulations! Now take a serious look at your office work flow and determine if you need to move things and/or people around or start looking for a bigger space!
- Do you have teams? Are all members of a team in close proximity?
- Do you have a good and quiet meeting space for teams to work?
You are your environment. Your team is affected by your work-space and conditions. I hope you can check off many of the items/ideas listed here as already taken care of (let me know if you need a checklist here – I created one for my members) … and if you can’t check them off, I hope you’ll consider making some tweaks: small changes can yield big results.
Over to you, what has or hasn’t worked for you?
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If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Download the checklist to help you work through this exercise:
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