June 23, 2011

8 Ways to Inspire your Lifeless Workspace. ~ Jakob Barry

Photo: Shino

When our professions require us to generate inspiring and inventive products, it’s important that our workspaces compliment those needs.

For example, try being creative while spending eight hours a day sitting in a room with no windows, stifling air and little leg room.

Instead of precious energy being devoted solely to the imaginative process it’s a constant struggle just trying to get comfortable enough to think.

This may sound like an extreme case but it’s actually all too common, which is why improving the quality of our work environments will do wonders for production and our lives.

At the same time it’s important to note that not every company has the means for major renovations or remodeling. Nevertheless alternatives exist that can make a world of a difference in our day:

Photo: Soham Banerjee

Lighting. Good light is extremely important. This doesn’t necessarily mean the room must be lit up like the sun, but harsh fluorescence should be replaced with softer illumination.

Natural light is ideal but, in the event where that is impossible, sometimes a localized incandescent desk or floor lamp provides a pleasing mood. Furthermore, installing mirrors at strategic points is another trick to help reflect outside light inward.

Air. Aside from getting a good night sleep breathing fresh clean air is an essential factor in keeping our thoughts sharp and brilliant.

This includes good circulation, a well balanced temperature, clean filters in central air vents and where there is no central air an oscillating fan is a must.

Plants. Also, if possible plants should be added to the office as studies have shown they purify indoor air. Aside from purifying air, plants can do a lot for décor, lending a sense of the outdoors to cave-like offices.

On a very basic level anything green and alive will spruce up dull white or off-white walls and, depending on the types of plants, some may even emit scents and aromas which stimulate the mind like a good cup of coffee.

Paintings or Pictures. Whether in frames or painted directly on the walls they should have a motivating yet calming presence. But, not too crazy that there’s no room for the imagination to run wild. The goal here is to steer clear of anything generic that makes the workspace feel like a doctor’s waiting room or the janitor’s room at the local middle school.

Fish Tank. There’s sometimes about other living beings in our midst that soothes the mind. Fish are the easiest kind of life form to maintain in the office and best of all they don’t smell.

A Waterfall. Indoor waterfalls bring a calming sensation to what can be an otherwise coarse environment. They mimic a presence from within nature that can contribute to the creative flow and potentially relieve stress.

Photo: Wonderlane

Furniture. Depending on the type of desk, chair and surrounding furnishings a room can feel open or closed in. Consider the size of the space and the colors that mesh with it.

Perhaps add a couch for a power nap or orthopedic or kneeling chairs that will improve posture during long days staring at the computer screen.

Carpet. Small rugs around computer consuls provide a homier feel. Office slippers are also advantageous, as sometimes our regular shoes feel confining whereas changing out of them can open our minds.


Jakob Barry writes for Hometalk.com, a growing community of homeowners and contractors getting the most from their resources by sharing and monitoring projects together. He covers various eco-friendly home improvement topics including green living and sunroom additions.

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