Shedworking: One year on: Tokyo company’s ‘green garden office’ experiment

Almost exactly a year ago, we reported on Tokyo-based office supplies specialist Kokuyo who opened a rooftop terrace “garden office” at its HQ to reduce electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. So we were intrigued to see a roundup of how things had gone on the Nightly Business Report on PBS. Here’s one what a couple of employees said:

I arrive at work earlier in the day, when it’s cooler and when I’m doing creative work, I come outside. Indoors, I save for preparing documents and routine tasks.

Indoors, I get distracted by all the ringing phones and people yakking at me. It’s easier to focus out here.

The shifting sunlight, the breeze, it seems to turn a switch in your brain. The office is a highly stable, controlled environment. But altering those surroundings seems to trigger the creative part of our brains.

And just as important, the company claim that productivity has risen and carbon emissions have been halved.
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Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by The Garden Room Company┬«, the UK’s premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

As you all know, I find cubicles to be… let’s just say less than desirable. We are humans and, like any other species, should be outside. This post on Shedworking gives me hope that one day the out-dated cubicle will come into the 21st century and bridge the gap between the high walled cubicle and the wonderful outdoors.

Improving My Cube: The New Bonsai Plant

Today, I bought a bonsai plant for my cubicle at work.  After writing Components of a Comfortable Office, I decided it was time to act and make my dreary tan and white cubicle at work a little nicer of a place to spend countless hours staring at my computer.

The first thing I did was clear the desktop of everything I haven’t touched in a week (filled the filing cabinet). I figure that if I do not need to find anything in the next month or two, I can just dump it all in the recycle/shred bin.

But then, the vast white space seemed a little too vast.  So, at “lunch,” I headed over to The Home Depot and purchased a bonsai plant (below) for $11.97.   I am a little skeptical as to how long it will live since there is no sunlight in my cube and the place is rather dry.

The $11.97 Bonsai Plant from The Home Depot

With the beginnings of a more comfortable cube in place, I will keep you posted as to how this develops.  I am thinking I need some dark cherry wood inserts, a zen garden, and a mock fireplace to really give it that custom look.

Components of a Comfortable Office

As I begin considering a home office remodel, I have been looking at pictures of offices.  If a picture appeals to me, I try and figure out why.

Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:

1) Dark hardwood desk and cabinetry.

2) Clutter Free (indicates sufficient storage)

3) No Visible Accessories (printers, staplers, etc are hidden)

4) One to two plants

5) Decorative lighting including spot lighting and general task lighting

6) Ergo Chair

7) Creative use of wall space either for art or accessories including pens, whiteboard, etc.

What features of your office do you find essential and/or creative?