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Creating an Optimal Workspace: The Power of Environment in Boosting Productivity and Happiness


For many professionals, the workspace is more than just a physical location—it is a sanctuary

where they can thrive and find inspiration. As a healthcare practitioner who had the

opportunity to design and build my own practice, I discovered firsthand the transformative

impact of creating a space that aligned with my preferences and brought me joy. By

incorporating elements such as natural light, open windows, and a thoughtfully planned layout

and color scheme, I not only improved my productivity but also experienced a profound

increase in happiness and overall well-being.


For over 10 years, I had the privilege of working in a clinical practice where I was able to

contribute to the design, and of course the aesthetics. From deciding I wanted windows in my

exam rooms, color scheme, speakers in each room, plants, and artwork, and picking out the

future, I had the opportunity to express myself creatively that without thinking much about it,

made a huge difference. This difference was really apparent when I closed that practice, and

worked in more “sterile” appearing offices, with plain walls, basic office exam furniture, and

quite frankly, not an ounce of personality and splash of color. For me, the silence, in these

spaces, and the plainness, seemed to suck my energy. I didn’t realize this at first, but a few

weeks in, I requested to make changes, and my energy and mood improved. After some

changes, I actually wanted to come to work.


The Influence of Natural Light:


Natural light is a powerful force that can uplift our mood and enhance our productivity. When I

designed my practice, I made sure to maximize the use of natural light by incorporating large

windows and skylights. The soft glow of sunlight streaming in not only created a welcoming

ambiance but also boosted my energy levels and improved my focus. Studies have shown that

exposure to natural light can positively impact our circadian rhythm, leading to improved sleep

quality and overall well-being. (Blume et. al, 2019)


Embracing Openness and Fresh Air:


The ability to open windows and let fresh air flow through the space was a game-changer for

me. Not only did it improve the air quality within the practice, but it also created a sense of

connection with the outside world. The circulation of fresh air brought a renewed sense of

vitality and rejuvenation, which directly translated into my work. The ability to take a deep

breath and feel a gentle breeze during a busy day added a touch of tranquility and served as a

reminder of the larger world beyond my practice walls.


Designing for Music and Relaxation:


Music has always been a source of solace and inspiration for me. Recognizing its power, I took

the initiative to wire all the rooms in my practice for sound, allowing soothing melodies to

permeate the space. The constant background music not only created a pleasant and calming

atmosphere for my patients but also had a profound impact on my own well-being. It provided

a therapeutic backdrop that enhanced my focus, creativity, and overall productivity. Research

suggests that music can have a positive influence on mood, reduce stress levels, and even boost cognitive performance—further validating the impact it had on my practice. (Ahmad, 2015)

The constant presence of music fostered a sense of serenity and tranquility within the space. It

acted as a shield against the distractions and stresses of the outside world, creating a sanctuary

where healing and growth could flourish. The interplay of melodies and silence allowed for

moments of introspection and contemplation, both for myself and my patients, promoting a

deeper connection and understanding between us.


The Influence of Color and Layout:


Carefully choosing the color scheme and layout of my practice was another aspect that

significantly contributed to my happiness and productivity. I opted for soothing, nature-inspired

colors, such as soft blues and greens, which have been known to evoke feelings of calmness and tranquility. The layout was designed to be functional yet inviting, allowing for seamless patient flow and creating a warm and welcoming environment.


By attending to the details of color and layout, my practice became not just a physical space but

an immersive sanctuary that nurtured both physical and emotional well-being. The interplay of

soothing colors and functional design elements created an environment that inspired

tranquility, creativity, and productivity, enhancing the therapeutic experience for all who

entered its doors.


The Power of a Personalized Workspace:


Having the opportunity to design and build my own practice allowed me to create a

personalized space that resonated with my values, preferences, and passions. It became a

reflection of who I was as a healthcare practitioner and created a harmonious blend of work

and personal enjoyment. This alignment between my workspace and my own identity fostered

a deep sense of fulfillment and joy, ultimately influencing the quality of care I was able to

provide to my patients.


Conclusion:


Designing and building my own practice was a transformative experience that taught me the

immense power of the environment in shaping productivity and happiness. By incorporating

elements such as natural light, fresh air, music, and a thoughtfully planned layout and color

scheme, I created a space that not only optimized my professional capabilities but also

contributed to my overall well-being. As professionals, we should recognize the importance of

our environment and take steps to create workspaces that align with our values and enhance

our personal and professional growth. By doing so, we can unlock our full potential, improve

our happiness, and provide even better care for those we serve.


Truth be told, we spend considerable time in our offices. According to a study conducted by the

Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, employed individuals spent an average of 8.5

hours per day; this equates to approximately 42.5 hours per week. So, I encourage you to

evaluate the space in which you work in. Whether it’s adding a picture, artwork, a plant, or

something else, I encourage you to infuse a bit of your personality into your workplace.


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