I’m in the middle of a short series all about our work environment. We’ve considered why it matters and our actual workstation itself. Today in our mini-series work environment matters | Focus Three — Environment & distraction. What we are trying to do here is, as far as we able, to optimise our work environment to make it as easy as possible to get things done and be effective. Tomorrow, we will think about what to do about all the different things we cannot control.
The Environment around you
The key things to consider are heat, light, noise and space. Ideally you want a room that is not too hot or cold. Depending on what you are working on, well lit is also a must. For this, I’d recommend a lamp with different light settings and also a blind for sunny days if the light could hinder your ability to see.
When it comes to noise we all know that quiet can be good, but also a background hubbub or some music can really help us concentrate and focus. What’s hard is when there is noise that draws you in. It is easy to focus on and be distracted by. It’s easier to work in a cafe with 50 people talking around you than it is in a room with two people talking to each other.
I have on occasion used a free website that simulates the background noise of a cafe and put in my headphones that do a good job of blocking out the actual noise around me. Once, I even put on fake cafe background noise in a real cafe as a lady at the table next to me had a very distinct laugh and seemed to find the universe hilarious.
Space would be the next thing I consider. For me I prefer to work in more open spaces and I do not like having my desk up against and facing a wall if I can avoid it. I like to be able to see open space in front of me. I also like to have a window I can look out of when I am thinking about something. It’s important that the space is well ordered and not cluttered and overloaded with ‘stuff’ and or mess.