The universal problem with New Year's resolutions? Follow through. After pledging to make real changes in our everyday lives, resolving to welcome the year with only the best versions of ourselves, somehow, not even a full month into the new year, I see it all slip away. So, for this coming year, in order to see these resolutions all the way through, create a work space at home that will motivate and equip you to do the work you're setting out to accomplish this year.
After coming across some frightening statistics on germs in an office cubicle, I could hardly stomach lunch at my desk before I launched a full-out assault on the filth lurking around my cube. Now, I'm passing the word along — it's time to scrub down your desk and make regular cleanings a part of your healthy office lifestyle. Remember, if you're eating, drinking, and sitting for hours on end in this space, you're picking up all the germs and carting them with you, home and back, day after day. Just to give you an idea of how dirty your desk space really is, University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D. reports that the "typical desk—home to the rarely cleaned keyboard, mouse, and phone—carries 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat." Yuck.
If that's not enough to inspire some cube cleanup, get the breakdown on the germs sharing your office space when you read more
Before and After: Teachers' Lounges Get the Royal Treatment and an Exclusive Interview With Brian Patrick Flynn!
Interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn, aka Décor Demon, recently took on a magnificent project that's left me feeling truly inspired about how I can makeover my workspace. In less than three months, he simultaneously redesigned five teachers' lounges throughout the Northeast — free of charge. Not unlike teachers' lounges in public schools nationwide, the rooms had been severely neglected from floor to ceiling. Brian came in and injected them with a vibrant, sophisticated dose of style, transforming the spaces into rooms any of us would kill to work in. Though a budget of $12,500 was donated by Staples to be divvied up among the schools, covering only some of the supplies, there was no budget for travel. So what's even more impressive is that Flynn completed the project remotely via text message, sending instructions to the teachers and volunteers doing the installation.
Brian was kind enough to share images and an exclusive interview with me about how the lounges all came together. Prepare to be wowed and be sure to read more details at Decor Demon.
Photos by Sarah Dorio
Keeping a neat and orderly desk can help you keep your thinking clear, but clutter is inevitable. At any given moment I have a mug, water bottle, stacks of paper, Post-its, snacks, and random books piled high in my workspace. Do you keep yours clean, or fight the buildup?
I just did a little scan of my work space and realized I'm pretty well-stocked here at the office. Tooth brush? Check. Moisturizer? Neosporin? Three varieties of breakfast cereal? Check. Check. Check.
Considering we spend a majority of our time in the office, keeping your cube loaded with the things you need (and want) is pretty common practice. You never know when hunger — or dry skin — may strike, so keeping the necessary essentials seems not so out of the ordinary — in fact, it probably just makes you well-prepared. Still, maybe there are some unexpected items stored away in your desk. Tell me, what do you have stored in your office drawers?
Want to share your workspace with the SavvySugar Community? Whether you have a cubicle to call your own, a desk in an open space, or an office with your name on it, upload pictures of your area to the Capture Your Cube group!
Here at Sugar HQ, we don't have the typical cube farm that you'd find in other office buildings, but we do get a lot of noise. Not only from the traffic in downtown San Francisco, but from the various street musicians that play outside. So these Bubble Sound Barriers from design firm I-Beam — which provide not only a barrier from outside noise, but keep your music inside your own parameter — would be really, really awesome. I can only take so many hours of bagpipes and jazz flutes in the afternoon.
Of course, the Bubble Sound Barrier may not be completely practical — they hang from the ceiling or attach to a wall with a movable arm — but they are totally retro-chic, and seem like they are straight from a designer in the late '50s trying to predict what offices would look like in the future. The only things missing are the robots.
Most of us work on computers in and out of the office, so we are constantly e-mailing ourselves items or saving them to flash drives for use on another computer. This gets even more confusing on three-day weekends or summer vacations when many of us still need to work, but don't necessarily have access to our main computer.
If you're like me and juggle multiple work spaces and machines, check out Lifehacker's guide to Maintain a Consistent Workspace Across Multiple Computers, which offers simple tips to getting your bookmarks, docs and work life in order. For their best tips, read more