Motivation Isn’t Simply Mental, It’s Also Physical

Improving your physical workplace can see benefits towards your work ethic


Isabella Gonzalez

The Lost Bean Coffee Shop sets a relaxing and productive space to complete your work.

Often overlooked, personal space can be the key to getting work done more successfully. Although it might be easy to be caught in our screens or the paper we are working on, what your mind subconsciously sees in its peripheral and the environment you put yourself in can provide key motivation.

According to the University of Minnesota, personal work places can influence “your mood, impact your behavior and motivation to act, facilitate or discourage interactions and create or reduce stress.”

What improvements can be made? Ultimately, it comes down to what you are comfortable with, but there are many different aspects that have reportedly worked amongst many groups of people. The University of Minnesota boils it down to certain key aspects to pay attention to, with most of them including clearing the clutter, making sure your space is personalized and letting nature in. All of these don’t even directly deal with personal headspace. The key is in the physical environment around you, which translates into clearer thinking and more motivation.

Letting nature in, or more specifically, sunlight, showcases incredible benefits through the fact that it includes Vitamin D. According to SelectHealth, vitamin D reduces stress, improves your sleep and even helps you live a longer life.

Most importantly, ask yourself: What often hinders your work? Start small and keep improving even the smallest details. Hypothetically, if you have a hard time reading, maybe consider starting by getting a better chair. Then, let’s say procrastination is a big issue, download a program that closes those websites for you, or for apple users, put your phone in “focus mode”. By tackling each problem on its own, you’ll end up with a workplace which benefits all types of tasks, because more often than not, your physical surroundings are enough to get your mind in the right place.

The importance of positive workplaces is even shown at a larger scale, and has actual data to back it up other than personal reports.

According to Harvard Business Review, “the American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. Sixty percent to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress. Workplace stress has been linked to health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.”

Although there is nothing you can do about having to study for that difficult test or writing that five page paper, by consciously constructing the space around you, it might make that work just a little easier. Pushing through work may serve you in the short-term, but if procrastination is a recurring problem, 

Also, according to the IRS, rooms that are exclusively office spaces at home are tax deductible, so that’s some more motivation to get that work place looking right.