Your Workspace: a source of Happiness!

Nov 19, 2022

The global movement of looking at our spaces as a direct influence of harmony in all areas of our lives was created by the Japanese guru, Marie Kondo, and is growing every day. Learning to live only surrounded by things, people and routines that bring us joy is the challenge proposed to live a truly happy and complete life.

 And if this great subject started by gaining relevance in our personal life, we quickly realized that the importance of the environment where we work has a huge impact on the way we live our professional life. There are already countless studies that show the impact on motivation, productivity, self-esteem and even on the way we are perceived by others.

 To make this topic even more relevant, new ways of working are now being combined: some people return to in-person work, some stay at home (or in a café, on a beach...) and some have a mix of both.

 And there are challenges for everyone, especially if the current form has not been chosen but imposed by the company. There is no right or wrong, and since this is an opinion article, I leave you with 3 main ideas I consider fundamental for the environment where we work to be a tool that enhances our relationship with the company and our mission that contributes to the whole.


#1 A Clean desk

 A clean desk, or even an airy desktop, is like an entrance hall.

If every day, we open the door and discover a hallway full of junk and scattered things, the motivation to start the day on the right foot is further out of reach. I believe in a desk with life (as I believe in a house with life). During the day, papers, pens, post its, cables will appear indicating that someone is, or was, there. The important thing is to prepare your desk for a good day the next day, or for a moment of focus and concentration. So, I invite you to try it for a week:  leave your desk, or individual workspace, as clean and empty as possible and notice how you feel the next morning. Observe your motivation levels and your own productivity, and with this observation evidence, choose how you want to live that space to get the best out of it.


#2 Different moods, different ambiances

 It was one of the biggest challenges and requests I had from companies to support employees who were in home office during the pandemic: how to physically separate work from personal life? And it was then that I realized the importance of a simple desk tray. Not all of us have offices or isolated space to work at home, and for many, the living room became everyone's office and school. The dining table stopped being a dining table and the whole routine of work and personal tranquility got mixed up in a knot that was so often blind. This is where the famous idea of "less is more" comes into powerful action.

The best way to control the space of a certain thing in our life is to assign it a physical limit.

And I realized that a tray, a simple table tray, or kitchen tray, delivers that solution. It can fit a computer, sheets, notebooks, pens. And everything fits on a chair when we are done working to make the room a family space again.


#3 Breaking the vicious cycle of "junk" 

That our brain can be programmed, we all already know, if we were not unconditional fans of a full life. That our brain gets tired with all the external stimuli, too. Now, whenever we allow ourselves to work, create, think, in a chaotic environment, full of distractions, of things out of place, or even already unnecessary, we are tiring our brain. We are actually distracting it and forcing it to make a greater effort to concentrate. Tired, it loses the ability to choose what is best for us. It makes us lose control over what really matters. And when we do, we make room for a sense of unfulfillment, a loss of love for ourselves and what we are delivering. We drop the towel, and what started out as just a few simple papers about an important project, is now a messy pile of jumbled documents that we don't even feel like revisiting.


What I would like to bring you with these thoughts is that what we get out of our work environment depends much more on us than on wallpaper and natural light. After all, what's the point of having a state-of-the-art workspace when it comes to technology and decoration, if we can't find ourselves and focus on what we really want to create each day?


Rita Carvalho de Matos