How to Create an Inspiring Workplace

Our environment can have a positive affect on our home life. Work is no different. In fact, it may be even more important, as that is the place we spend the most of our waking hours.

I like to think of my workplace as my "other" home. I try to make it as much of a home as possible. Some of us go to an office offsite, and others work from our homes. Either way, creating a space that allows you to be inspired and productive is the challenge and the goal.

I've never been a fan of the dingy grey cubicles and I have always tried to create spaces that feel warm and inviting.
Some of us are programmed to believe that work must be hard. I challenge us all to think of work in another way. We can work hard, but let's put our effort into those things that also bring us joy along the way. Surrounding ourselves with ways to make work enjoyable and beautiful, i contend, will ultimately provide not only a more satisfying experience, but a more productive experience. Not always, perhaps, in the traditional way.

I do some of my best work in cafes. It might be counter -intuitive for some, but for me it makes perfectly good sense. I find a quiet corner where I can tune out distractions, and feed from the energy around me. I love to be surrounded by good food at all times. It's especially important to refuel when we are expending energy- even if it's creative energy. Working at a cafe, I am sure to have that at my disposal, without a lot of effort.

When I work in the office, be it the "corporate headquarters" of my humble home office, my philosophy is the same.
I surround myself with beauty. I create an environment that is inspiring. I make it functional so i use my effort for the things that matter.

Wherever you work, why not set yourself up for success?

Find a way that works best for you.
Here are a few tips that may work for you. Try one out, then see if you can redefine how and where you work.

A FEW WAYS to create an inspiring work environment:

1. Clear out the clutter.
There is nothing more distracting than a disorganized mess on your desk.
Prune away the non-essentials and keep only what you need directly in sight. The rest can either be filed or put away, or maybe even {gasp} thrown out. A place for everything and everything in its place is an old antedote that still holds true today.

2. Elevate the elementals.
Once you organize the desktop, focus on your surroundings. What do you use everyday? Pare it down to a few essential tools that you need to do your work. If you are not using it, put away until you need it. Out of sight, out of mind keeps you focused on what really matters in the moment.

3. Inspiration is essential
Keep one or two inspirational objects around to remind you that your office can be a place to be mindful. Maybe even more so, since it can sometimes be a challenging environment to keep calm.

4. Be Intentional
Light a candle. It can be an elegantly scented candle {though not to the point of distraction for you or others}, or a simple disposable single use votive that lasts the day. Lighting a candle when you sit down to work signals an intention to be present to the task at hand. It also adds a sense of warmth and comfort. Light the room with lamps instead of overhead lights. A bit of ambiant lighting sets the tone for softness.

5. Surround Yourself with Beauty
Bring something fresh and natural into the workplace. It adds beauty and oxygen to the spirit. Use what's growing in the garden or side of the road, like tall green branches or wild flowers. Or, you can pick up something in season at your local farmer's market.

We all work hard, why not make it a bit more beautiful.

Buon appetito!
copyright 2009 Alisa Barry

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