How to Optimize Your Work Environment

January 10, 2011
 

By Caroline
As a journalist turned public relations professional, my first experience in an office setting was a culture shock.
In the newsroom, there is noise -- lots of noise. Police scanners from the assignment desks, breaking news live shots from the balcony, producers screaming, reporters running and about 1,000 televisions blaring the news in real time. The chaos provides an energy that makes you want to jump in, work hard and keep up with the team.
Fast forward two years and I've traded in my news cap for a pencil skirt and high heels. On the first day of my first office job there were a couple of thoughts running through my head as the human resource lady ushered me around the office. “Why is it so quiet?" "Do we always have to sit in those cubes?" "Where are the windows?" "Why is it SO quiet?"
Everyone has her own work style, and it was throughout the first few years of my public relations career that I learned mine. I need noise. So, I picked up a couple of tips that have helped me survive the desk job.

  1. Move: Your body needs circulation in order for your brain to function.
  2. Noise: This can be a TV, music or even the radio on in the background. When I hear a news story that could be a trend that a client can capitalize on, my heart starts racing, and it's like I'm back in the newsroom jumping in on breaking news.
  3. Switch locations: If I'm working at the office, I like to move around between the conference table, my desk or a comfy chair. Or if I am working at home, one of my favorite places to write is the coffee shop. This way I don't get bored, and it keeps new tasks fresh.
  4. Eat: Healthy eating equals productive working.
  5. Talk: It's typical office culture to share information via e-mail, which is fine, but remember you work with people, not computers. Make sure you make some time for human interaction.

What's the one element most essential to your productivity at work?

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