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Comfort Versus Productivity

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Small business (66)      Business Basics (34)      Managing Staff (15)      Productivity (11)      HR (9)     

Feet up on Desk
Courtesy of flickr.com

How much comfort should be allowed or encouraged in the workplace? This is a topic that is open to a wide variety of opinions. How comfortable is too comfortable when we’re talking about our workspace?

I've worked with organisations that range from large corporate ‘cubicle-cities’ to small family businesses and I've seen everything from a pristine, impersonal workstation to one that looked more like a living-room than an office space. I've seen cats lounging on keyboards, desks covered with stuffed toys and walls covered with pictures, jokes, cartoons and children’s crayon drawings. Is there a line that, once crossed becomes detrimental to productivity?

Feet up on Desk
Courtesy of flickr.com

Let’s look at what might be OK and what might not:

- A few family photos or favourite artworks on the wall
- A pot-plant or vase of flowers placed well away from your elbows.
- A quirky pen-holder or business card holder.
- A couple of motivational stickers or fridge magnets.
- An inspirational quote or two.
- A sleeping pet in the corner of your home office.

Feet up on Desk
Courtesy of flickr.com

Not OK:
- Filling your walls, pin-board or whiteboard with memorabilia so that important messages get lost among the clutter.
- Vases, pot-plants or coffee mugs that can be knocked over and spilled all over your important documents.
- Picture frames, candles or ornaments cluttering up your desk.
- Food or empty food containers (don’t you know you should never eat at your desk?)
- Animals distracting you or interfering with your work (have you seen the Youtube clips of cats fighting with photocopiers?)

Feet up on Desk
Courtesy of flickr.com

Of course, if you work from home it’s your own business (pun intended) and whatever working style you choose is up to you. I've been known to sit in bed all day in my pyjamas and produce some of my best work, but when I’m in the office at my place of business it’s a different story.

This is something that needs to be carefully considered if you own or manage a business and are taking on new staff. Most of us have a uniform policy or dress code but do we have a policy that addresses working styles or workplace cleanliness? Is there ever any discussion around what is acceptable or not when it comes to bringing personal items from home into our workplace?

Something well worth considering.

#Small Business
#Business Basics
#Managing Staff
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