Your Desk Needs a Makeover

I think I’m somewhat becoming claustrophobic these days and I believe there to be one culprit and one culprit only for this sudden spike in spatial awareness. My cube. My two beyond neutral beige toned walls, the color most likely selected as to not distract anyone and prevent anyone from thinking something innovative might be happening, have recently grown quite mundane. On these walls I have important work documents scattered around, pinned up behind my computer and around my desk so I can reference them easily.

Sounds pretty typical and to be honest, it really isn’t all that bad. I have a Mac desktop with a screen larger than my TV I had in college and by luck of the draw I get to sit by a window with a beautiful back drop of some Ohio forestry. I will say these two facets of what I walk into every day are nothing to criticize.

However, like in the AT&T commercial with the little kids… “We want more. We want more. Like if you really like it. You want more.” What I realized was that I need more of what I like around me. I like simple, clean cut, and I like people. A couple quotes on the wall, a few pictures with my family, and my favorite classic Michael Jordan photos should do it. I would even venture to cross my fingers, close my eyes, and wish I could sit at a table with no walls.

My Desktop with original wings poster. "No bird soars too high, If he soars with his own wings." - William Blake

My Desktop with original wings poster. “No bird soars too high, If he soars with his own wings.” – William Blake

Office design is a top trend noted in Sodexo’s annual Workplace Trends Report for 2013. The report reads, “Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of the built environment in creating quality work environments and positive work experiences; each playing a crucial role in performance, engagement, and productivity.”

HR and Talent roles are people oriented and directly involved in performance management, employee engagement, and dare I say it… productivity. How is your company productive? The people are productive. Until a robot can operate a business with no human capital, your people create productivity.

Business leaders are rolling their eyes and saying, “ So now you’re telling me to spend money and rearrange the office? Paint some walls? Get a basketball video arcade game? Ha. Right. Make me money, don’t spend it.”

I can look at dollars and cents all day, but there is someone behind a desk, on a plane, working from home, or sitting in a coffee shop making those dollars and cents. Remember that. Can ROI be drawn directly to HR and Talent? Too many people have argued that before me and I’m too young to know or even comment.

But, what I do know is people make up your business. People drive your business. People make your business money. If office design can improve your people’s performance, engagement, and productivity, no wonder it’s a topic of conversation in the HR community for 2013.

Your workplace is where you spend about 10,400 hours per year of your life. Why not surround yourself with what you like at your desk? Some may think this is another narcissist ploy as a Millennial so engulfed in my interests that I bring what I like to decorate my workspace. But, to those who believe we’re all too self-assured and consumed with telling the world what we’re doing on social media, I say count how many articles are written on Personal Brand. It might take you 10,400 hours to do so.

HR professionals can improve workplace design by working with the appropriate parties. However, one individual, millennial or not, can’t build their office’s Rome in one day. But, you can get pretty darn close to building your own personal Rome in a day. Look at your desk. If the item is irrelevant, throw it away. If you need to reference it, make it a digital document you keep on your desktop.

What drives you to be better? What do you like?

Maybe that’s what you need to be looking at everyday. Just a thought.

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