One of the most common issues I hear about from business women is how one creates a stress-free workspace, and I want to take some time to underline just how important it is to have a organized and calm designated space for work. As busy entrepreneurs and business women we are dealing with stress and pressure enough as it is, right?! So I decided to write a blog post with my most important and least time-consuming tips that hopefully inspires you to design your ultimate workspace.
I’ve created a guide for you to help you get started, and I’m even sharing some photos from my own home office to prove that you don’t need a whole lot of space to get in to the right flow. But first, let me explain a bit more why it is important to think mindfully about where you choose to do your work to increase productivity and decrease stress.
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Mental and physical mindfulness
I’m all for a mindful and stress-free space in all aspects of life, both mental and physical. So, it’s only natural to me that I want my own and my client’s workspace to be as soothing and calm as possible in order to invite focus and growth. Work can be pretty hectic and chaotic in itself (am I right?!), so it’s vital that our designated place of work isn’t.
An investment that pays off
As we spend a lot of our waking time working, usually indoors (especially if we have desk jobs) our place of work need to be working for us, not create stress. Thankfully this can be solved with a few easy tweaks, a bit of time and a little bit of money (not necessary if you’re on a budget). I highly recommend that you invest some of your valuable time (or hire a Virtual Assistant to help you) designing and creating space in your home or at your office that feels inviting and calm to you.
If you work from home: don’t worry about having to re-build your entire livingroom as these designs and tips don’t require a lot of space. I will demonstrate this in the photos below, but I also want to talk a little about what it is that can cause stress. stress-free workspace.
What causes stress at work?
It’s important to pin-point what factors are contributing to your stress in order to be able to do something about it. If you’re unsure, take a look at the list below with some of the most common causes and see if any (or all) of them resonates with you:
- Bad organization skills
- Old/bad/slow equipment
- Bad environment (noise, lack of privacy, poor lighting & ventilation, temperature)
- Poor visual design
Luckily, you can take control over all of these contributing factors! In the guide below I’m talking more about why these things stresses us out and what you can do to solve it:
5 must-haves for a stress-free workspace
1. A designated work area
This is particularly important if you’re working from home! If you don’t have one, create one. It doesn’t need to be big (as I demonstrated in the photo of my own workspace above), but it is vital that you have a space dedicated only to work. This will help you keep your focus AND, if you work from home, clear your head when you take breaks (as you can just go to another part of your home that’s not associated with work).
Don’t work in the bedroom as that is a place of rest – it’s important that we separate work from leisure in order for our brains and bodies to wind down (down-time is crucial for our well-being and mental health).
2. A clean and organized desk
We all know how stressful it can be to not be able to find important documents 5 minutes before a meeting, or not knowing where all the frigging pencils have gone. Both of these things might seem harmful, but can (and in most cases will) actually stress you out to the level of pure panic.
Invest in a desk tray, penholder, folders, post-it notes, notebooks and a calendar (trust me, you’ll need all of this even if you work mostly digitally). This will help you keep your desk clean and organized, and you can even label the different folders and trays according to your needs and personal filing system. stress-free workspace.
3. Updated equipment, good lighting and ergonomic chair!
Save your back!
My chair is NOT the best chair, let me tell ya. It’s the cheapest office chair I could find in IKEA, made out of plastic= BAD for my poor back! I’ve piled 2 pillows and a faux sheep skin on it to make it a bit more comfortable, but this chair is the main reason why I choose to sit on the sofa more than at my desk.
The sofa is comfy, but I want it to be a place of rest, not work, so it’s on top of my list to buy a proper office chair. It can be a bit of an investment, especially if you’re on a budget, but trust me when I say that a ergonomic chair is crucial!
Keep your hard work safe!
A fast computer and a proper back-up system will get you a long way; there’s nothing more frustrating and stressful than a sluggish computer and the fear of losing all your hard work, so I highly recommend that you spend money on these things – especially if you work remotely! I use a Lacie 5 TB harddrive, as well as a Cloudsystem to back up all of my work. I can’t stress enough just how important this is! stress-free workspace.
Easy on the eyes!
Natural light is the best thing for your workspace, as daylight gives us energy and is good for our eyes, while poor lighting will hurt us. When I worked as an executive assistant, my workspace was located at the very back of the building next to my boss’s office. There were no windows there whatsoever, so it got really dark during autumn and winter. I asked for a daylight lamp which I placed right in front of me and turned it on in the morning and let it stay on until it was time for me to go home. It was such a HUGE help, so if your designated workspace don’t have a good source of natural light I highly recommend that you invest in a daylight lamp. They’re lifesavers!
4. Personal items
Personal items such as photos of family members, inspiring quotes and pictures and other decorative items brings beauty to your workspace. It should be visually stimulating as you spend a lot of time there, so make sure that you invest some time in to making it look pretty.
I’ve pinned a crocheted inspirational quote from a Feminist designer (@catfightback on Instagram) and a photo by one of my favourite photographers Kirsty Mitchell on my bulletin board. Next to it there’s a terrestial globe. They all inspire, motivate and reminds me of different things related to my Why.
Plants bring life and beauty to an otherwise inanimate area, and the colour green is a symbol of health, wealth and prosperity (why d’ya think I use it as my brand colour?!). AND, a big plus is that plants also reduce stress and increase positive feelings – go green!
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Still not sure how to organize your workspace?
I’m more than happy to help you with that! Click the link below to fill out a form about your business and needs and I’ll get back to you within 2 business days.