Make Your Workspace Work for You

What does your home office look like right now? Maybe you are sitting in an immaculately designed modern home office or maybe your office is a little over run by your kid’s and/or pet’s toys. Maybe you don’t have a home office and you’re sitting at the kitchen table or your arm chair. Whether you have a dedicated office space or not, your surroundings are incredibly important to both your productivity and happiness levels.

Personalization in your physical office space can enhance well-being as well as satisfaction while at work (Scott, 2001). Working in your actual home is a little bit different. Your house is most likely already decorated with personal items and your office/work area probably already has the personal items you associate with your life. However, now that these spaces have to serve a different function and actually be a place of business, there may be some things that you need to change.

Before we get into what might need to change, let’s talk about why workspace personalization is such a great thing. Personalization can have 3 main positive effects on the workplace:

  1. Greater level of organizational well-being

  2. A more positive organizational/social climate

  3. Reduced staff turnover

As both employees and leadership, we should all want to see these outcomes both for ourselves and our employees. However, a physical office space and a home office space calls for different personalization protocols.

While you want to probably change up your scenery by moving around your house, it is important to create a space dedicated to getting work done so you can mentally prepare for and effectively get work done. For example, doing your work in the kitchen area may tempt or distract you into thinking about and making snacks since your brain associates that area with food. Another example would be sitting on the couch where you usually watch TV. Your brain associates this area with relaxing and you might find yourself struggling to focus as you think about all of the shows you would like to catch up on.

It is possible to move around your house and do your work in new places to keep yourself from getting bored. If you are struggling, however, to get work done and you find the hours dragging by it would be a good idea to switch over to your dedicated work space to prepare yourself mentally to focus on the work you have to get done that day.

When preparing these spaces here are a few things to keep in mind. It’s best to have some type of flat surface to place your computer on as well as a comfortable chair you can sit in for hours on end. In addition, you will need some office supplies to supplement your technology so you do not get distracted by playing hide and seek with your pens and paper. Finally, you will want some personal items that motivate you. Maybe it is an award you have earned for work or it is a picture of your children, the people you are working so hard for. Think about your job and why you are there and remind yourself of why you continue to work for this company. Find items that remind you of that passion so when you do get distracted you can look around your office space and be refueled by those memories.

Interestingly, studies have found that women tend to decorate their offices with items that showcase their identity while men tend to utilize items that share their status within the company (Scott, 2001). Whatever it is for you, make sure the items around you remind you of why you are here.

Our AGL Institute course the Virtual Self shares even more tips and items you may want for your home office so head over to to learn more about personalizing your workspace!

If you have an awesome work from home set up and you would like to share it with us, snap some photos and DM them to our AGL Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and you could be featured on our page! We love a functional workspace and would love to see what works for you!

Thanks for reading!

Source: Scott, M. (2001). Home from home? Psychologist. 14(2), 94.