When was the last time you really looked at the art on your walls? Read that framed quote? Actually seen your desktop background?
Our brains are wired for novelty, to notice whatever is new in an environment. In order to do this efficiently, with minimal use of resources, our brains quickly learn to ‘tune out’ the constants – reducing the things that don’t change into the equivalent of wallpaper.
This means that the motivational quote you have on the shelf, the inspiring photo, even the custom-painted portrait of your dog, quickly fade into the background. We become ‘blind’ to them, and their initial impact wanes. In fact, the only people who can really appreciate them are those who rarely enter our work space – new customers, colleagues in other departments, etc. Because they’re not habituated to your objects, they get the benefit of really seeing them (as well as the opportunity to interpret what your objects say about you).
Fortunately, there are several solutions to this ‘blindness’:(more…)
The objects we choose to surround ourselves with, to decorate our spaces with, act as a reflection of who we are.
Whether we like it not, our clients, our teams, and even our own unconscious selves, are scanning them for meaning.
That first dollar bill from a paying customer. A festival wrist band. A photo of the first company office. Pictures of family.
“people’s possessions tell us even more about their personalities than face-to-face meetings”
– Sam Gosling, PhD and author of Snoop: What your stuff says about you
We keep these objects because they generally serve two functions:(more…)
“As ten-thousand studies have shown, when you are chronically stressed, you’re less able to be at your best. Particularly when you’re talking about a knowledge economy which really places a high premium on creativity.Dr. Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
Stress reduction is a huge part of Health and Safety research and legislation, plays a significant role in management training and literature, and even has an economic impact. Consider these findings from both the EU and the US:(more…)
The artwork in your workspace needs to be challenged and changed on a regular basis.
Too often we add art to our environment and then forget about it. After a few weeks or months, it starts to blend into the wallpaper, virtually invisible.
Where this can be problematic is that the artwork is still functioning in the space – it is still sending messages to you, your team, customers, and clients who visit the space.(more…)
How curating the aesthetic of your ‘home office’ can boost productivity.
Now that so many of us are working from home, we’re confronted by a conflict of purpose – our domestic spaces now need to double as a professional work environment.
Previously, we would have relied on commutes and shared office workspaces to cue our brains to prepare for work. The act of leaving the house, travelling, drinking coffee from a thermal cup, and greeting colleagues all facilitated a transition from the private and personal to the public and professional.
Without these transitional spaces and cues, it can often be a challenge to maintain a work-oriented mindset. Not to mention the ready distractions of family members, Netflix, and the refrigerator.
But there are steps we can take to help our brains make the shift from being ‘at home’ to being ‘at work’, even though we may have only travelled a few steps.(more…)