Initially, when working with a new client, I always want to get to know the people, and what everyone does. Then, talk will turn to product, numbers, and the associated business and cultural conversations. Once this is all done, one of the key areas that always intrigues me is the working environment of the business leaders. Not only what their day/week looks like, but also where they work.
One of my small business client’s I recently worked with had a typical “small business office”. Files stacked up, random posters, bits of paper everywhere, and a general feeling of organised chaos. When I see this type of environment the first thing that hits me is Empathy! Yes, I can truly understand. A work office, whether on-site or at home can become a cramped, dark, uninspiring hole. These work areas quickly become a place of distain, and the heart drops every time you have to walk through that door. This does not set the scene for a leader to hit the ground running and hit the day with vigour and unadulterated passion.
For this reason, I tend to do my best creative work on holiday or in shared-working environments. The only problem with this is that you set yourself up for a great day’s work, but within ten minutes you need a file in your office, or you physically need to be down the hall from your team.
So, what is the answer? As a consultant, my job is to see what people within the business cannot. Commonly what I see (and feel myself sometimes) is a distinct link between the working environment and daily motivation of a leader. I don’t have a list of top 10 things storage solutions for you to implement. That’s for the likes of your office supplier and storage shop to help you with, as well as for you to discover for yourself. The answer is to acknowledge that your working space needs to be clean, spacious, inviting, well lit, and organised. The aesthetics are also very important. It needs to be all you, a place for you, a place that invites you in and says “hey buddy, it’s great to see you. Let’s enjoy the next chunk of time together. It’s gonna be great!”
Tomorrow morning when you open the door to your office take a good hard look. Be analytical. Before you put your bag down, and sit down, and start pounding out work, take a good hard look. Make a mental list of what opportunities there are and go fix them. Spend a bit of money if required. If you don’t have natural light, or a beautiful vista to overlook when you’re at your desk, then there may not be many options other than moving at some point. But, concentrate on the opportunities that are currently present. Lighting, inspiring images & quotes, branding & mission aligned animation, the use of desk space, the ergonomics, plants, and aroma can all be quick fixes for getting you in the right headspace to smash out a strong fun day in your business.