Weird question? It’s one we’ve been asking almost every day since quarantines, lockdowns, and a global pandemic swept many employees out of their typical work environment and into…whatever they could make do with.
So, what makes an office? Is it simply a physical space a corporation calls home? Is it more emotional, defined by a space where like-minded people come together with a shared purpose? Or is it any environment where productive work can take place?
What we learned is that there are no right answers. An office meant something different to every single employee depending on their position within the organisation, the culture of their workforce, the social bonds they had at work, and the environments in which they thrive. All ingredients are essential to producing good work results.
Defining the office as “the environment” is backed by experts in behavioural and environmental psychologies, like Sally Austin. She argues specifically that design can have immediate, critical impact on the effectiveness of employees. In other words, better spaces set up employees for better success. Other variables factor into the equation, but this space-making was an area Moonalabs felt directly poised to tackle head-on.
Our purpose is to enable others. We design furniture specifically to foster productive spaces and turn employees’ remote-work experiences into positive, dare we say ‘joyful’ experiences (if the little ones get involved, we’ll dare say it – joyful experiences indeed). The amazing part is that as we really grappled with the designs as we learned more and more about human psychology and productivity. We learned more about ourselves and our peers. And we’re able to share those learnings not just through revolutionary furniture like our flagship home-working pod, Alcove, but also share those learnings with our communities, here.
If you are someone who struggles with remote-work due to distractions and the messy realities of life, you aren’t alone. And if you are thriving at home but want to invest in your environment to take your home-office to the next level, you aren’t alone either. For all remote workers, here are a few simple reflections and tips to start (re)creating your workspace with intent and purpose:
- Try to reduce distractions. This includes family and pets and the allure of the television, but it also includes internet browsing and even checking email. Consider finding the quietest part of your home to work and consider putting “do not disturb” on your devices to shut out notifications that could distract you.
- Schedule both work and play. What we really mean is give your time a sense of purpose. When you dig into the work, really focus there, and immerse yourself. But when it’s time to take a break, give yourself the freedom to walk around, get fresh air, or do something you value. Structure is your friend in this working environment.
- Set a timer if needed. Our brains have really been re-wired in the age of technology and social media. Most of us have poor attention spans. If you set a time for those dedicated bursts of focused productivity, your subconscious will allow you to focus more, knowing there is a “countdown to freedom” in place.
- Communicate your schedule as needed. This is a balance between privacy and transparency, and there is no right answer to the balance that is best for you. However, communicating with those in your household as well as your colleagues can help keep you accountable towards your goals and help give you the space you need to reach them.
- If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. There is no magic formula. The important thing is setting goals and reflecting honestly about what works for you. Some people really can watch TV while completing tasks for work, and that’s great for them. But most tasks – and most of us – require something different for success. So, stay oriented on the goals themselves, and be willing to try new things to find your best habits to reach them.
Maybe the most important lesson is to cut ourselves a little slack. We’re living in unprecedented times, and the struggle is very real. Fortunately, humans are resilient, and the struggle is leading many of us on a journey we never expected. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves and each other along the way, and there’s nothing more beautiful than that.
Take care of yourselves mentally and physically, and know you are not alone on this journey. If you want some companions striving for more alongside you, follow our page for more posts and products designed to revolutionise the ways we transform our environments to maximise our potential.
And if you are interested in a product like Alcove, a dedicated work pod to get you away from the sofa or kitchen table, check out our website. It has all the info on the spacious desk, comfortable seats, natural light, and windows, soundproofing for quiet, and more.
So, what makes an office an office? It’s the purpose you bring to the moment, and a space curated to fulfil that purpose. How well you curate it impacts how well your purpose succeeds. That’s where we’ve got you covered. Our purpose is enabling yours. Onward we go.