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Seven Ways to Make the Office Your Sanctuary

Almost fifty percent of people are unhappy at work. Surprised? Probably not. The average person spends more time at work than anywhere else – other than in bed, that is. And given the high rates of job dissatisfaction, placing the same value on our office space as we do on the comfort of our mattress just makes sense. 

Of course, office design isn’t the only factor that affects our level of enjoyment at work, but it is a crucial one. Regardless of which half of the population you relate to, consider these seven tips to make your office a more desirable destination:

1 - Clean Up.
Whether you work from a cubicle, a corner office or your kitchen table, take ownership over cleaning your space. A dusty, grimy environment is distracting, not to mention unhealthy. So do yourself a favour, give your office a good scrub, and then keep it clean.

2 - Get Organized.
A national survey conducted by OfficeMax found that 90 percent of people feel that disorganization negatively impacts their lives. What’s more, three-quarters admit their productivity declines due to disorder. If it’s a filing cabinet you need, get one. If color-coded folders keep you coordinated, buy some. Whatever it takes, eliminate clutter and start working more efficiently.

3 - Settle In.
If you’re spending a third of your life at work, it’s probably worth investing in quality, comfortable furniture. But there’s a balance. Too cozy and you’ll find yourself asleep on the job; too rigid and the pain will make it impossible to focus. Proper ergonomics play a part as well. Make sure you’ve got the right setup so you don’t find yourself in the physiotherapist’s office instead of your own. 

4 - Bring Nature In.
Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or not, the benefits of sprucing up your office with a little greenery are clear. A study by a UK University, Why Plants In the Office Make Us More Productive, discovered that adding plants to a “previously spartan space” increases productivity by 15 percent. 

5 - Incorporate The Right Light.
Lighting goes hand in hand with bringing the outdoors in. Natural sunlight offers the ideal solution for illuminating a space. But if that isn’t a feasible option for your workplace, consider alternate options. Finding a balance between soft and stimulating light is key. Nothing’s worse than a flickering fluorescent light, but if the space is too dimly lit, you may find yourself drowsy; or worse, squinting to see.

6 - Make It You.
We tend to enjoy places that reflect our sense of style and personality. So if looking forward to walking into work every day is a goal of yours, design your office with yourself in mind. Add color and texture that put you at ease. Display what motivates you - family photos, motivational mantras, whatever it is that inspires you.

7 - Add A Dash Of Distraction.
This one may surprise you. But when you reach that breaking point at work, sometimes the best solution is distraction. A few minutes of putzing around with a Rubik’s cube or stretching out on a yoga mat can clear your mind and get you back on track. The key here is preventing a healthy diversion from becoming a full-blown distraction.

Remember, your goals, sense of style and even your job will evolve, so allow your office to be flexible, too. If at some point down the road you find yourself dreading the walk into work, switch it up. Start over. Reassess what it is you need to make work a place you want to go again.


Ray, R. L., Ph.D., Levanon, G., Ph.D, Kan, M., & Cheng, B. (2014, June). Job Satisfaction: 2014 Edition. Retrieved August 9, 2016, from

National Survey Reveals Workplace Clutter Tarnishes Professional Image and May Prevent Promotions. (2011, January 25). Retrieved August 9, 2016, from

University of Exeter. "Why plants in the office make us more productive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2014. <>.

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