What We Know about Reclaiming your Workspace
Over a year and a half ago, we packed up our work computers, grabbed an extra notebook from a disheveled stack and drove home “for a couple of weeks…MAX.”
Much more than two weeks later, It would seem that we’re now faced with two possibilities; A continuation of WFH or limping back to a freshly dusted office space that at this point is bound to feel foreign and detached from what it used to be. I mean, can everything really ever be the same? With so much change and uncertainty over this “yikes” level year we’ve had, we’re certain that one particular thing has been neglected- a quality investment into your workspace.
Regardless of which reality you’re facing here in the next few weeks, we’ve put together a short conglomerate of things to help you define and reclaim your workspace both in the office and at home.
Make a conscious effort to keep your area clean and free of clutter. There’s a trend circulating, “don’t put it down, put it away” and if you give it a try, we’re certain you’ll feel better about your 9-5 bubble. Whether you realize it or not, clutter is distracting! Not to mention how your dusty pile of binders, yesterday’s power-bar wrapper and your house shoes look in the background of a Zoom meeting. The ultimate decipher for what to even keep in your designated workspace? Is it useful or is it a distraction? If you’re anything like me, if I can use it as a distraction-I will…extra pens and all.
Make it Motivating
If you’re home, restore some of the “discomfort” of the office. If you’re in the office, bring in a couple home comforts. It’s all a balancing act. You don’t want to be too comfortable, but you certainly don’t want discomfort to become a distraction. In any geographic space you’re in, just be certain to construct it to be uniquely yours in a way that works for you. Have comfortable but adequate lighting, get some plants, keep it cool, alternative chairs or adaptable desks, or hang a couple photographs; but keep it light and professional. However you decorate or plan your space, it should be motivating, not intrusive to your productivity.
Your space is important, but ultimately you’re responsible for taking care of yourself in a productive way. Reclaim your workspace by actually framing it as your own. It’s where you’re responsible for becoming a more productive, capable, and educated resource. Treat it like the empowering space it should be! Fuel your brain in an environment that encourages you to be your own leader. Let it also be a place where you can recharge, hold yourself accountable, and make yourself a priority.
Professionals spend a daunting amount of time in their workplace. A particularly odd fact considering the majority of us spend that time fantasizing about all the other places we could be instead. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, in fact, I think we need that most of the time. But there’s harm in reserving positivity for all the other places outside your office. Your workspace deserves some celebration too. Good things HAVE to happen in a place that consumes so much of your time and attention. I think it’s become natural to save our celebrations, our highest highs, our great accomplishments, and deep connection for after office hours. Who said this was normal? Start celebrating yourself and others IN your workspace. It will absolutely transform how you perceive it.
So hopefully, whether you’re staying in the home office or headed back to the other jungle you feel a little more prepared to make your work space yours. Just remember, don’t let your space (or any space for that matter) define you. Make it a place you want to be, reframe how you feel about it, and consider how impactful a quality, sacred space could be for your 2,000 working hours a year.