The type of workspace you choose has a direct impact on productivity, creativity, and overall happiness in the workplace.
Most workers are offered a desk or office and just stick with it. But even if your company has assigned seating, it’s worth it to assess your space to make sure it’s maximizing your work efforts and discuss alternate options with your HR manager if needed.
Before you take a seat, ask these questions about the work environment you’ll be visiting each day:
1. Does it expand your network?
As some people (Porter Gale) have said, your network is your net worth. You never know who you’ll meet, sit next to, or bump into, so choose a workspace that optimizes the “right place, right time” effect. Look for opportunities to build relationships with potential clients, business partners, referrers, and mentors – even if you’re just leasing a desk for a day or two.
2. Does the environment bolster productivity?
The energy and layout of a workspace affects the quality of your work, both positively and negatively. Are you someone who needs a window seat to tap into creativity? Do you get more done in a private office than an open floor plan? When you feel empowered by your surroundings, your work inevitably improves.
3. Can you easily focus on your work?
It’s no surprise that distractions can sabotage your success. Sure, the spare room at home or the local coffee shop might seem like a productive workspace because there’s constant activity around you, but is it really a place that is helping you to concentrate and grow? You might have subconsciously chosen that seemingly “safe” space because it allows you to slack on your work goals.
4. Does it complement your work/life balance goals?
Don’t just book a desk or office and expect the productivity to flow – make sure the space has attributes that encourage your best work. Does it cut down on commute time? Can you book space on a whim to fit your existing schedule? (Coincidentally, we have a great app for that.) From your workspace, can you easily access gyms, cinemas, libraries, or parks that offer other activities you enjoy? To keep your work/life balance in check, create an agenda or checklist for yourself so you can maximize your time in the workspace each day and leave the office at a reasonable time.
5. Does it match the image you want to convey to the world?
Depending on the type of business you’re in, first impressions can be very important, and this extends to the workspace you choose. A polished space that’s industry-appropriate significantly improves the impression you leave on clients, potential business partners, and employee candidates. Whether you’re using a temporary space for a meeting or leasing an office for a longer term, your space should convey the same professionalism you strive for in your work.
Now, it’s your turn: What has your workspace experience been like? What has worked and what hasn’t as you’ve grown your business? Tell us in the comments section below.
About our contributor // Michelle Regner is the founder and CEO of Desks Near Me, a platform that is revolutionizing the way professionals find and book workspace.