In June of last year, I made a major change that has had a profound impact on my work output. It's one that, unfortunately, not everyone can do and might even cause some problems with office politics. Yet I firmly believe it has made a major difference in my productivity.
This change has helped me to think more creatively. I have enjoyed my workday more, and I have felt happier and less stressed about my daily tasks. It took some effort to work out the details, but this change has paid off in countless ways. It also might seem a little simplistic at first (sorry about that).
In June of last year, I decided to move my office so that my desk faces out toward a window. I sit in front of a large pond each day now. In the morning, I hear birds chirping and ducks frollicking. Midday, I see people walking and even the FedEx truck rolling up the road. Rays of sunshine stream through the window in the afternoon.
It's made a huge impact on how I perceive my work. For starters, I now feel a bit more in tune with the world around me. I used to have an office that was quiet and somewhat remote, but didn't have a window or a nice view. By looking outside, I can see activity all around me, which inspires my thought process and spurs me to keep at it. I can daydream or let my work slide for a few minutes. As I have mentioned countless times before, looking outside also helps me to see multiple planes of reality instead of only a few (my computer screen and the wall behind it). That sensory input has helped me think clearer.
Being able to look outside has also helped me disengage from work. Multiple times per day, I stop what I'm doing and just take in the view and look for wildlife or let my thoughts drift into other topics beyond what I'm actually trying to do. It's a million times better than going to some obnoxious website as a way to take a break .
Having extra light streaming in throughout the day is also a boon to my productivity. I've written about this before, but natural light encourages creative thoughts. It soothes you. It puts you in a better mood. It makes you want to work harder.
I realize not everyone can make this change. You might run a company that's situated in a factory or inside an office complex. Maybe you have to stay with a department. My only point in mentioning this change is that it has impacted every area of my job. If there is a way to find a different office, or even to find an office for your company where everyone has an exterior window, or to have employees switch offices routinely so everyone has a view, it's a good idea to try to make the change. It's a crucial way to enhance productivity. It may even become the standard way of working.
Just as an experiment, I moved back to an office without a window just for a few days. It became obvious after just one full day that I missed being able to look outside. My work suffered. I wanted the day to end sooner. I didn't feel as connected to what was happening around me. I didn't feel as peaceful or productive.
Suffice it to say, I moved back by the end of the week. Immediately, I found my mood changed again and I felt more inspired. It's the only way to work.
As always, let me know if you agree or disagree. Send me your own story if you also decided to figure out how to work next to a window with a view.