Simple Workspace Hacks to Boost Your Happiness

If you are like many Americans, you have a strong sense of the connection between environments & mood, with ample time spent contemplating, dreaming, and acting on home improvement. One market analyst predicts that the United States furniture and bedding industry (the latter producing mattresses and bedclothes) will grow in 2014 to $98 billion. The Globe and Mail reports that home decoration is the top industry fueling Pinterest activity, which is now the third most popular site behind Twitter and Facebook. Nielsen statistics reveal that furniture now trumps cuisine on the television too: for the first time last year, HGTV bested the Food Network in average viewership (532,000 to 509,000).

A recent report in the The Huffington Post by Liz Wilkes, founder of workspace health and mood improvement outfit Exubrancy, questions our tendency to focus so heavily on the home rather than on office health, demonstrating her point with the daily schedule of a typical working person (her research):
• 9 hours at work, 6 of which are spent at our workstations (Science Daily)
• 8 hours sleeping (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• 1 hour commuting (US Census Bureau).

As you can see, only 6 hours remain for all other activities, including errands and anything else outside the house. If we spend more time at our desks than we do at home, Wilkes compellingly asks, why don’t we prioritize our workspace design and decor? After all, a couple of easy adjustments can make a major impact on the way you feel at work:

Integrating environments & mood – 2 tips

1. Angela Wright, an expert on color psychology, recommends matching colors to appropriate situations. Blue assists with clarity, yellow enhances creativity, red increases heart rate, and green is calming. You may not be able to change the paint on the wall, but you can probably bring in wall hangings and desk accents to improve your office health, reducing your stress and bolstering your ability to focus.

2. In order to see those colors, first we need light. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory issued a report detailing the positive effects of natural light on office health: day-to-day stamina, innovative potential, and productivity all increase in response to light. If you are in an artificial light environment, ask for a new location or look for somewhere with sunlight where you can work part of the day. Also consider buying a lamp that provides full spectrum sunlight. Additional ways to improve your mood at work include scents (especially lemon, but also lavender and jasmine) and plants: pleasant smells can reduce errors, while plants can boost productivity and creativity.

Rethinking the workspace design of your office

As you can see, although Americans focus heavily on the home rather than the office, modifying the workplace in simple ways can yield amazing benefits. To talk about a general upgrade for your business, contact Beaux-Arts Group. Our firm was founded by architects, and our solutions seamlessly integrate the building with its interior spaces.