How to make your workspace work better for you

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We spend 90 percent of our lives indoors, and most of our day staring at screens. So, Bonnie Casamassima, a Professor of Interior Design at SCAD Atlanta, says we need a workplace that will really work for us.

Companies are increasingly turning to design pros like Casamassima to try to make their offices more user-friendly so that their employees will feel more creative and be more productive in their workspaces.

If yours leaves you feeling stressed or sluggish, Casamassima says, start making some small tweaks to your space.

"[Start] really looking at really making sure the things that you're seeing are supporting your happiness and your wellbeing," Casamassima says.

Studies have shown we feel better and tend to be more productive when we have access to daylight and nature. So, if you have a home office or a more flexible workplace, Casamassima says, turn your desk so that you're facing a window. If you're stuck in a cubicle with no window, try going outside on your breaks.

Next, it's time to tackle the clutter around you. A cluttered workspace, she says, can leave you feeling stressed.

"Making sure that you're keeping your area really organized," Casamassima recommends. "That is going to be a big piece of this so that you're only keeping the items that you're working on that moment."

To feel more motivated, she says, surround yourself with small things, like awards or family photos, that will spark appreciation.

"When we see things that remind us to be appreciative, it signals in our brains, our gamma and alpha waves, and it allows us to be calmer and less stressed," Casamassima explains.  "It also allows us to be more energized in our environment."

Open concept offices are popular right now, but they can make it challenging to concentrate. So, if you need to focus, see if you can move to a more enclosed, quiet office space.

"When we’re doing that heads-down, we're looking at spreadsheets, we're analyzing," Casamassima says. "When we get interrupted, when we're in a deep state of focus, it takes us about 16 minutes to get back into that deep state of focus."