Have you ever wondered how to make your work life more productive? At many jobs, workspaces are relatively uniform, dictated by the powers that be. But the thing is, not every employee thinks and works in the same way, so while the workstation provided may fit the personality type of some workers, it won’t be best suited to others. Luckily, there are a lot of products out there at affordable costs that can help you stay organized and optimize productivity - the trick is finding which ones are right for you.
According to author Kate Ward’s book “Personality Style At Work,” curated by Vivian Giang for American Express’ Open Form, there are 4 distinct personality types found at every office. Knowing your work-life personality type can be the key to optimizing your workspace to best fit your personal workstyle, resulting in heightened productivity and a greater sense of satisfaction at the office. Check out the lists below to find your personality type(s), and my suggested product additions that cater to each one! Photos are linked to my prefered purchase places based on cost and product quality.
1. The DIRECT Worker
- Always in a state of organized chaos (for example, lots of paper & trinkets on your desk)
- Love your independance
- Action-oriented and solution-centered
- Impatient at times
- Group settings are boring for you
- Speak loudly and quickly, often stating your opinions as facts
- Use statements that involve “ you must” or “you should”
- Learn best if things are presented in a direct and straightforward way
Does this sound like you? If so, here are my suggestions for the independent, organised, straightforward workers. Since you are usually on top of your game, simple tools will be the ones that help you the most!
The Organization Station
If you are a direct worker, I can bet you love for everything to have a designated place. A desk organizer could really help you with that! This will help you keep track of all your basic workstation tools, and offers a simple filing solution for keeping documents organized.
Traditional Sticky Notes
It may seem overly simple, but stick notes are great for jotting down short lists or reminders, which can be tossed out after you’re finished with them or have added them to a master list. Keep the sticky notes close by so you can keep track of highlights from conversations quickly and efficiently, making it easier to keep conversations short and productive. Using various colors to differentiate tasks is a super easy way to keep things clear.
A Fidget Cube
Meetings can often be a huge time suck and result in less output, rather than more, but they’re often unavoidable. If you find yourself restless in your next meeting, consider bringing a Fidget Cube - to keep your hands busy and satisfy those fidgety impulses.
2. The SPIRITED Worker
- Have a fairly messy desk
- Learn best in groups
- Enjoy being mentored
- Are often told you’re a talker
- Love to begin new projects
- Have many interests
- Enjoy self-study programs
- Sometimes you need encouragement to finish projects
As a spirited worker myself, I can relate to the messy desk, many interests, and, if I am being totally honest, the occasional lack of time management skills. These products have helped me eliminate distractions and stay more focused, and they may help you as well!
Be organized in style! There are tons of options for colorful wall-hanging and desk adjacent pin boards, calendars, and organizers. Forcing yourself to be organized will help with productivity and if your desk looks nice enough, it may become the new office watering hole.
Focusing is sometimes an issue for me, but with the help of the Focus@Will app, it’s been much easier. They provide curated stations that play a range of ambient music, with their playlists based on neuroscience research. You can set timers for how many minutes you want to stay focused and it really gets you in the work zone. I have been using it for almost a month, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using just Pandora or Apple Music. They also have free trials, so you can see if it works for you before buying a subscription.
Since you love to begin new projects, (I do, too!) give yourself time to develop those ideas. Just don’t forget about the projects you already have on the go! These timers can help with keeping track of your time and breaking up the day, without being as obnoxious or jarring as an alarm.
3. The CONSIDERATE Worker
- Have a cluttered desk with lots of trinkets
- Have pictures displayed everywhere around your desk area
- Like to learn in group settings
- Love team building exercises
- Not a huge fan of new projects
- Are a great listener
- Love nature and being outdoors
- Are naturally calm
If you are a considerate worker, you have a knack for listening and love to learn about others. Even if you’re generally the calm one out of your friends or coworkers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get stressed out sometimes, too. Here are my suggestions for products that could help you!
Hanging Photo Display
Keep adding to your picture collection or start a new one. There are plenty of inexpensive options out there that allow you to keep the photos off your desk, giving you more work-space real estate. It’s also a super simple DYI project, if you want to make your own!
Green Grass Pens
Keep your desk atmosphere calm and bring a little green into the office with a couple of these cool green grass-blade pens! They look like plants, but you’ll never have to worry about watering them.
New tasks can sometimes be stressful, as can juggling your social commitments with work priorities. These notepads will keep you motivated by breaking everything down into categories for you, so you can keep your grocery list, friend’s birthday idea, and work to-do’s all in the same place. For only $13 bucks, it's a pretty great deal.
4. The SYSTEMATIC Worker
- Are usually pretty organised
- Love to clean/have a clean desk
- Love your independance
- Do not have trouble focusing
- Enjoy having a deadline
- Are great at working with graphs and charts
- Are fact driven
- Are detail oriented
As a systematic worker, you have your goals set and you are ready to achieve them...go, go, go! But if there’s a lot you want to accomplish, sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day. Here are some tools to help you along the way.
USB Desk Cleaner
This USB powered desk cleaner will help you get into those pesky crevices in your keyboard, as well as clean your overall desk surface. This particular model comes with a brush as well, and you can power it right from your laptop!
A simple and clean weekly planner will keep you on track, and also keep your desk clean! I like this particular one because it doesn’t take up too much space on my desk, and it comes in a bunch of cool colors.
A Calming Desk Light
If you’re working and focused much of the time, it’s easy to get eye fatigue from staring at your screen all day. A simple desk light could be very beneficial for you, and will help to ensure you can catch every detail! I use Mr. N in my office, and it adds a lovely soft light to my work area.
From lamps to sticky notes to productivity apps, there are always ways to make our work spaces more enjoyable and productive. Let us know which workspace accessories you find most useful!