Today we have the means to measure the performance of modern idea factories. Even these early insights suggest a future in which we must aggressively change the definition of what workspace is, from where work is done to how it is done, and then design spaces—physical and digital as well as desk furniture around that. The office of the past was a literal box of cubicles and desks, meeting rooms and common spaces. In the office of the future, we will be thinking and working outside it.
The spaces we occupy shape who we are and how we behave. This has serious consequences for our psychological well-being and creative performance. Given that many of us spend years working in the same room, or even at the same reclaimed wood plank desk, it makes sense to organize and optimize that space in the most beneficial ways possible.
If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two in the corner of room or above your desk furniture. Research has repeatedly shown that the presence of office plants has a range of benefits including helping workers recover from demanding activities and lowering stress levels. As a bonus, there is also evidence that plants can reduce office pollution levels.
Another feature of an optimized office is a window with a view, preferably of a natural landscape. If you cannot negotiate a desk with a view, another plan is to choose an office in your building that is the shortest stroll from an urban park. A visit here will revitalize your mind and compensate for your lack of a view.