Did you know your attitudes and emotions are greatly influenced by your daily environment?
That is why when it comes to working, research shows that the physical aspects of a workplace directly affect the employees’ productivity, performance, health, comfort, and focus.
So exactly how does our physical environment impact our careers and our desire to advance?
Our environment has three main components, and it’s important to understand how they impact our career advancements.
In this article, we will focus on the physical environment and its effects on our career advancement.
Before I share how to design your environment to accelerate your career advancement, let’s look at a study on our physical environments and their effects on our behaviors.
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, speak. He shared a 2012 Harvard Study about hospital cafeterias and how they wanted to reduce the amount of soda consumed. This team of Harvard researchers went to Massachusetts General Hospital, and they wanted to see if they could convince people to drink more water and less soda.
But here’s the interesting thing, they didn’t talk to anyone. They didn’t teach anyone anything, and they didn’t try to motivate anyone.
What did they do?
The researchers added more water to the cafeteria fridges and placed baskets of bottled water around the cafeteria; it’s important to point out that the researchers didn’t get rid of any of the soda in the cafeteria. The researchers decided to make water more easily available to people in the cafeteria.
What is the result?
Six months later, the study showed that people drank 25% more water and 11% less soda. Interestingly, when the researchers went up and talked to people drinking the water in the cafeteria and asked them why they were drinking water instead of soda, they all had a reason they felt like drinking water or liked water more.
But in fact, many of them were choosing to drink water simply because they were presented.
This study shows the importance of our environment and how it shapes our behaviors and outcomes. Our environment can negatively affect our behavior and outcomes if not set up to our advantage.
This is great news! You don’t have to be a victim of your environment when accelerating your career advancement; you get to be the architect.
Designing your environment purposefully makes it easier to naturally choose behaviors and actions that align with your career advancement goals. These are some of the designs you can follow:
- Clean your workplace or office – when your space is clean and organized, it’s easier to organize things in your mind. As a bonus, a clean office space leads us to be more generous and make better health choices.
- List your goals and make them visible – when you know the next thing to do, it saves you time and mental energy. Having the things you need and want to focus on the right at your fingertips makes everything easier.
- Cue yourselves into action – when you hear your phone ring, your cue is to pick it up, but would it be good or distracting? You might think about the things in your environment and ask yourself, “Are they driving you closer to your goals or distracting you from the important work you want to do?” Want to read more leadership books? Place one on your office desk or at home on the end table in place of the T.V. remote.
- Set up your calendar – it is also part of your environment, and it’s a tool that you can use to design your future and goal accomplishment, both personal and career. Ensure you have time on your calendar to work towards your professional and personal goals.
Eliminate distractions and begin thinking with all of your senses to trigger the actions you want that lead to the future YOU. This will help you build your space in a way that allows you to develop new natural rhythms intentionally and make self-discipline easier.
It’s not about going all out one day. It’s about making progress toward what you want each day. When you take a 1% step every day consistently, you will be getting closer to your goals and strengthening your personal belief, which will increase yours.
The right environment can be a huge part of having a successful career—do you think you are in the right environment? Let me know!
You can check out the full YouTube video on this topic and my other videos about career advancement for professional women.