We all have our favorite places to get work done, but have you ever thought about why we work the best in the places that we do? Your 5 senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) have a lot to do with how your workplace becomes the productive place that it is. When deciding on where to work next, use your sense(s) to define what makes the right location for you and your business.


Several studies suggest that the size of the workplace affects the way a person thinks. Tall ceilings and big tables made for more creative thought, while a small study carrel with enclosed walls are better for linear and analytical thinking. Simple changes like closing the blinds can have the effect of making a room seem smaller and help you focus on what is in front of you.


Lighting can make or break a productive power session. Do you prefer natural night that changes as the day goes on, or do you need a constant light source to help you forget about the time? Also, poor lighting can cause eye fatigue and drain your ability to be productive earlier than acceptable. Additionally, colors can play a big role. For creative thought, blues, yellows, and greens can encourage big picture thinking, while red is better for focused thought. Maybe your boss won’t allow you to repaint you office, but you can always change the color of your computer screen to better suit your mood.


Whether it’s the constant hum of the espresso machine, or the drone of the television, background noise is a significant factor when you have to roll up your sleeves. A coffee shop full of people talking is better than a quite library with a single sniffly-nosed patron. While everyone has a different tolerance to sound, a great pair of headphones can take you from a loud rock show to a quiet piano recital, without disrupting those around you.


Don’t forget other factors like the temperature, the comfort of the chairs, or lack of a table. Also, other creature comforts, like your favorite coffee (or the free refills) may influence your productivity.

When you find yourself being extra productive, take a moment to look around and find out what it is that is working for you. If you can’t seem to focus, maybe it’s an environmental influence that you can change. While your most productive location may not be your daily office, you can still control some of the elements that influence your work attitude