How to Create the Perfect Work-Space

Maximise your creative potential with a fully optimised work space.


Whether you’re freelance or full-time, creating the perfect work-space can bring previously unfathomable rewards.

Despite this, many people don’t put much thought into their work environment, and – without realising it – they might not be maximising their creative potential. We speak to hundreds of creatives a month, and we’ve learnt a lot about what makes a space perfectly optimised for creativity. Here’s what we’ve discovered.

There’s method in the madness

There’s a quote from John Cleese about how to create the perfect environment for creativity to thrive in: “You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.” What he’s getting at is that creativity of any kind requires the mind to be in a certain mode, and regimentation, stress and external noise aren’t conducive to it.

A great way to get into the creative zone is to have a separate, messy space away from your regular desk where you can allow yourself the freedom to think, explore and create.

This might sound a little bit wishy-washy, but actually, moving away from your regular workspace to your creative space triggers a sort of Pavlovian response, tricking your brain into its creative mode. And why a messy space, you ask? Well, research suggests that while order produces conventionality, disorder produces creativity. If you’re unsure of what constitutes ‘messy’, let Pinterest be your guide.

It’s getting hot in here…

No, we’re not just breaking into mid-noughties mainstream RnB, we’re actually talking about the desired temperature for the creative mind.

One study from Cornell University found that low temperatures produce mistake-ridden work, while a warmer, more optimal temperature produced 44% fewer mistakes. Why does a colder environment spell disaster for your productivity? Distraction.

In colder temperatures, you’re likely to be more distracted than when in balmier climes. If you’re cold, your body is using a significant amount of its energy just to keep warm – rather than producing high-quality creative work.

The same goes for the other end of the spectrum, as well. Too warm and you’ll be distracted for the opposite reason, so you’re looking for a Goldilocks-esque temperature scenario.


Turn the lights down low

Finally, lighting plays an important role in generating the perfect work-space.

When you’re coming up with creative ideas, lower levels of lighting might be preferable, as research has shown that dim lighting helps us to feel less constrained, and therefore free to explore and take risks.

Research in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found: “Darkness elicits a feeling of being free from constraints and triggers a risky, explorative processing style.”

Of course, when it comes to something like proofreading or more technical phases of your creative workflow, you might want to switch the lighting back up to full to get into a more analytical frame of mind.

Hopefully you’ve taken on-board our advice, and if you’re looking for creative jobs or design jobs in London, this advice is bound to help you create the best possible portfolio. Once you’ve made changes to your creative space, why not take a picture and send it to us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or tag us on Instagram! We’d love to see how you work best!

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