When it comes to productivity, some days are better than others.
One day you feel like the Energizer bunny, but another you feel like a bump on a log.
The problem is that stuff needs to get done regardless of how productive we feel.
So what do you do when you have a to-do list that's longer than Santa's naughty and nice list?
One simple thing that can boost your productivity is a change of scenery. Now you might be thinking that you'd love to work on a beach in Mexico rather than at a desk in Alberta, but the change doesn't need to be that big.
We have put together a few easy ways to change your scenery without the airfare or bathing suit shopping.
Take Your Work Outside
I know this isn't a mind blowing revelation, but we all tend to spend most of our time indoors.
Aside from taking a break and going for a walk, there are some places that designed for people to work outside.
In a BBC article about outdoor office spaces, they wrote about several cities and companies creating outdoor work spaces. People can take their work outside, with the amenities of the modern office, such as WiFi, electrical outlets and desks.
One of the spaces they mention is TREExOFFICE. It's an enclosed outdoor office space built around a tree in London’s Hoxton Square.
Another example is in the community of Silver Springs in Maryland, called Outbox. Here people can work while enjoying sunshine and fresh air, plus charge their laptops.
Although you may not have access to something as cool as these two examples, if you’re tired of staring at the same four walls, get outside. Doing so will engage different senses, and activate different parts of your brain.
Our South Edmonton location, has an outdoor patio available for members who want to get outside.
You can also simply take your laptop or notepad outside to a park or local cafe with a patio.
Bring The Outside Inside
With our Alberta winters and -40 C temperatures, you may not want to grab your laptop and work outside.
Adding a little green to your workspace is a easy way to change your scenery.
In fact, a group of psychologists from Exeter University published a study, which says workers perform better when household plants are added to workplaces.
We are big fans of having plants in our office spaces. You will find plants at both URBN Cowork locations.
To add some green to the homes and offices of our members, we gave out plants to celebrate our first anniversary this year.
If you're looking to add a plant, Salisbury Greenhouse, suggests these five plants:
Although a plastic plant might be easier to care for, it won’t provide the health benefits of a real one.
Enjoy The View
If you can't get outside another option is to work near a window.
Moving to an area with natural light and a pleasant view can make you more productive.
The Daylight and Workplace Study conducted by Cornell University’s Dr. Alan Hedge, a professor in the department of design and environmental analysis, found that working by a window had positive effects on workers. There was a decrease in drowsiness, and a boost in productivity.
If you can see a little bit of nature out a window that's even better.
In a study about how having a forest view while working, researchers found forest views from windows reduced stress and increased productivity.
So if you’re feeling uninspired, try switching up your view to get a fresh perspective on things.
Spruce Up Your Space
Shopping therapy for productivity? Why not?!
There's evidence to support the idea that if you feel good about the space you work in, the more productive you'll be.
If your office is at home, this may mean getting a new piece of artwork or a new set of storage boxes.
Adding artwork may not be an option if you're working at a coworking space, but you can buy a few office accessories or notebooks instead.
Whether your style is too-cool-for-school, pun-lovin, pretty-in-pink or completely your own, there are so many fun and functional options.
Our member Christine Lalonde, has her own office at our Sherwood Park location, and has created a great space with a lot of personality. Some of our other members have super cute notebooks or mugs that make whatever spot they're working in theirs.
The colors you choose to surround yourself with or paint your office can have an impact on your productivity too. The psychological impact of color is very interesting and can be used to promote productivity and balance.
Even if you just have a cubicle or work from a common space, make that space your work oasis.
Take A Break
Sometimes that best thing you can do is walk away from your work for a bit.
It may seem counterproductive to take a break from your work to boost your productivity, but stay with me.
We aren't machines or magical beings with unlimited stores of energy.
You need to notice when you're starting to feel unproductive or bogged down and recharge.
Here's the easiest way to increase your productivity with a change in scenery.
Get up and move around.
Go to another area of your house if you work from a home office or go refill your coffee mug in the kitchen if you're at a coworking space.
Sometimes we act like we're tied to our computers and forget to stretch and take breaks. Stop it!
Walk to a nearby cafe for coffee or run a quick errand, give your brain a chance to reset and you'll be surprised that not forcing yourself to "stay at it" helps.
When you're an entrepreneur or small business owner, if you don't get things done, nobody else is going to do it for you. We get it, because we're in the same boat.
That's why we've tried to create spaces within our coworking locations for our members to move around and easily take advantage of the positive benefits of a change of scenery.
Whether you add a plant to your new home office or engage in some shopping therapy, we hope you find the best way to boost your productivity with a change in scenery.
PS: If you haven't had the chance to check out our coworking spaces in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, Dylan & I would love to show you around and answer your questions about coworking. Book a tour now.