Designing the Ideal Workspace: Taking Cues From the Oval Office

Published Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:10 PM

Perhaps the most famous office in the U.S., even the world, is the Oval Office.The very words conjure up power, panache and such iconic images as young John Kennedy hiding beneath his father's presidential desk. While only a handful of people will ever enjoy such a storied workspace, all office designers can take a cue from its composition.

 Let there Be Light: Natural light is a mood enhancer. If possible, take pains to incorporate as many windows as possible into your workspace. Not fortunate enough to enjoy the Oval Office's expanse of eleven-foot windows? Bring in task lamps and even floor lamps to flood your workspace with as much light as possible.

Bright Equals Might: Bright walls in whites and creams create a sense of spaciousness and energy. The Oval Office currently features a palate of yellows and creams. Chose light, soothing paint colors and leave moody hues for other areas of your office or home. Stuck with dingy or dark walls and carpets? Consider adding a light, bright throw rug, mirrored wall coverings or oversize watercolors to enlarge and brighten your space.

Spaciousness: Who doesn't crave elbow room? While the Oval Office's 800 plus square feet  make its dimensions generous for a workspace, even cube dwellers can create a sense of spaciousness by minimizing clutter and streamlining files and desk accessories. Less is always more so take time to assign must-haves a space and declutter weekly

Quiet & Privacy: Clearly the Commander-in-Chief can order up solitude and the quiet time necessary for concentration. For others sharing office space, carving out privacy and quiet can be a tougher challenge. Too noisy to concentrate? Consider using ear buds or noise-canceling headphones. Or relocate to an unused conference room for a block of time or to make calls requiring discretion. Perhaps you share a desk like many financial traders or maybe your cube mate is never more than an arm's length away. Create the illusion of privacy by placing stadium style files at the edge of your space or use a plant for a little screening.

Work Surface: President Obama joins the long line of presidents-Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush-who use President John Kennedy's stately wooden desk. In addition to a long pedigree, the desk has the oversize dimensions that allow for ease of use. Modern office dwellers might opt for a corner desk, which maximizes space and allows for better ergonomics. Experts advise positioning the computer monitor at least 20 inches away.

Inspiration: Workers today clock long hours at work. Be sure to create a welcoming and inspiring atmosphere. Did you know that President Obama added inspirational quotes from presidential predecessors as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. to the border of the rug he commissioned for the Oval Office? The quotes include FDR's famous words, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" and MLK's moving, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Consider adding an inspiring plaque or pictures of your family to personalize your space. Environment plays an important role in boosting morale and productivity.

What is your idea of an ideal workspace? What design elements can't you do without? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

by Carly Fadako

| More


# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 5:23 AM

Dsf764 Thanks so much for the blog article.Much thanks again.

# Auth said on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:05 PM

The safest gerenal characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, p. 39 [Free Press, 1979]; ce9f cebaceb1ceb8ceadcebdceb1cf82 ceadcf87ceb5ceb9 cf86cf85cf83ceb9cebaceac cf84ceb7cebd ceb4ceb9cebaceae cf84cebfcf85 ceadcebdcebdcebfceb9ceb1 ceb3ceb9ceb1 cf84cebf cf84ceb9 cf83ceb7cebcceb1ceafcebdceb5ceb9 cebdceb1 ceb5ceafcf83ceb1ceb9 ce88cebbcebbceb7cebdceb1cf82. ce95ceb3cf8e cf80ceb9cf83cf84ceadcf85cf89 cf8ccf84ceb9 ce88cebbcebbceb7cebdceb1cf82 cf83ceb7cebcceb1ceafcebdceb5ceb9 cebdceb1 cebcceb9cebbceaccf82 cf84ceb7 ceb3cebbcf8ecf83cf83ceb1, cebdceb1 ceadcf87ceb5ceb9cf82 ceb3cebdcf8ecf83ceb7 cf84ceb7cf82 ceb9cf83cf84cebfcf81ceafceb1cf82 cf84ceb7cf82 ce95cebbcebbceacceb4ceb1cf82. ce88cf80ceb5ceb9cf84ceb1 cebdceb1 ceb1cf80cebfceb4ceadcf87ceb5cf83ceb1ceb9 cf84ceb7cebd cebacebbceb7cf81cebfcebdcebfcebcceb9ceac cf84cebfcf85 cea0cebbceaccf84cf89cebdceb1 cebaceb1ceb9 cf84cebfcf85 ce91cf81ceb9cf83cf84cebfcf84ceadcebbceb7. ce9ccf80cebfcf81ceb5ceaf cebdceb1 cf80ceb9cf83cf84ceb5cf8dceb5ceb9cf82 cf83cf84cebf ce94cf89ceb4ceb5cebaceacceb8ceb5cebf, cf83cf84cebf cea7cf81ceb9cf83cf84cf8c ceae cf83cf84cebfcebd ce9ccf89ceaccebcceb5ceb8. cea0ceb1cf81cebfcebccebfceafcf89cf82, cf84cebf cf83ceb7cebcceb1ceafcebdceb5ceb9 cebdceb1 ceb5ceafcebdceb1ceb9 cebaceb1cebdceb5ceafcf82 ce95cf85cf81cf89cf80ceb1ceafcebfcf82; ce9cceb5cf84ceac cf84ceb7cebd ceb5ceb9cf83ceb2cebfcebbceae ceb2cebfcf81ceb5ceafcf89cebd cf86cf85cebbcf8ecebd cf84cebfcebd 5cebf ceb1ceb9cf8ecebdceb1 cebc.cf87. cf83cf84ceb7cebd cea1cf8ecebcceb7 -cebaceb1ceb9 ceb3ceb9ceb1 7 ceb1ceb9cf8ecebdceb5cf82- cebfceb9 cf87cf81ceb9cf83cf84ceb9ceb1cebdcebfceaf cebeceb5cebaceafcebdceb7cf83ceb1cebd cf84cebfcebd ceb1cf83cebaceb7cf84ceb9cf83cebccf8c cebaceb1ceb9 ceb8ceb5cf8ecf81ceb7cf83ceb1cebd cf8ccf84ceb9 ceb7 ceb6cf89ceae cf83'ceb1cf85cf84ceae cf84ceb7 ceb3ceb7 ceb1cf80cebfcf84ceb5cebbceb5ceaf cf80cf81cebfceb5cf84cebfceb9cebcceb1cf83ceafceb1 ceb3ceb9ceb1 cf84ceb7 cebcceb5cf84ceb1 ceb8ceaccebdceb1cf84cebf ceb6cf89ceae. ce9cceb5cf84ceac ceaecf81ceb8ceb5 ceb7 ce91cebdceb1ceb3ceadcebdcebdceb7cf83ceb7, cf8ccf80cebfcf85 cf84ceb1 cf87cf81ceaecebcceb1cf84ceb1 ceb1cf80cf8c cf84ceb9cf82 ceb1cf80cebfceb9cebaceb9cebfcebacf81ceb1cf84ceafceb1 ceadceb4cf89cf83ceb1cebd cebdceadceb1 cf8eceb8ceb7cf83ceb7 cf83cf84ceb9cf82 cf84ceadcf87cebdceb5cf82 cebaceb1ceb9 cebf ceb5cebacf84cf85cf80cf89cf84ceaecf82 cf84cebfcf85 ce93cebfcf85cf84ceb5cebcceb2ceadcf81ceb3ceb9cebfcf85 cf80cebfcf85 ceb4ceb9ceadceb4cf89cf83ceb5 cf84ceb7 ceb3cf8ecf83ceb7 cf83ceb5 ceb5cf85cf81cf8dcf84ceb5cf81ceb1 cebbceb1cf8acebaceac cf83cf84cf81cf8ecebcceb1cf84ceb1. ce91cebacebfcebbcebfcf8dceb8ceb7cf83ceb5 cebf ceb4ceb9ceb1cf86cf89cf84ceb9cf83cebccf8ccf82 cebaceb1ceb9 cebccebfcebdcf84ceb5cf81cebdceb9cf83cebccf8ccf82. ce91cebd ceb8ceb5cf82 cebdceb1 cebbceadceb3ceb5cf83ceb1ceb9 ce95cf85cf81cf89cf80ceb1ceafcebfcf82 cf80cf81ceadcf80ceb5ceb9 cebdceb1 cebeceadcf81ceb5ceb9cf82 cf84ceb7cebd ceb9cf83cf84cebfcf81ceafceb1 cf84ceb7cf82 ce95cf85cf81cf8ecf80ceb7cf82 cebdceb1 ceb1cf80cebfceb4ceadcf87ceb5cf83ceb1ceb9, cea0cebbceaccf84cf89cebdceb1 cebaceb1ceb9 ce91cf81ceb9cf83cf84cebfcf84ceadcebbceb7 cebaceb1ceb9 cebdceb1 ceb3cebdcf89cf81ceafceb6ceb5ceb9cf82 cf84ceb9 cf83ceb7cebcceb1ceafcebdceb5ceb9 ce91cebdceb1ceb3ceb5cebdcebdceb7cf83ceb7, ce94ceb9ceb1cf86cf89cf84ceb9cf83cebccf8ccf82 cebdceb1 cebeceadcf81ceb5ceb9cf82 cf84ceb9 ceadcf87ceb5ceb9 ceb3cf81ceaccf88ceb5ceb9 cebf ce9cceb1cebaceb9ceb1ceb2ceadcebbceb9, cebf cea6cf81cf8ccf85cebdcf84, cebf cea3ceb1ceafcebecf80ceb7cf81, cebf ce9aceb1cebdcf84. cea4cebf ceadcf87ceb5ceb9 ceb6cf89ceb3cf81ceb1cf86ceafcf83ceb5ceb9 cebf ce9cceb9cebaceb5cebbceaccebdcf84ceb6ceb5cebbcebf, cebf ce95cebb ce93cebacf81ceadcebacebf, cebf ce9ccebfcebdceadcf84 cebaceb1ceb9 cebf cea0ceb9cebaceaccf83cf83cebf. cea4ceb9 ceadcf87ceb5ceb9 ceb3cf81ceaccf88ceb5ceb9 cebf ce9cceb1cf81cebe cf80cebfceb9cebfcf82 ceaecf84ceb1cebd cebf cea3cf84ceaccebbceb9cebd, cebf cea7ceafcf84cebbceb5cf81, cebf cea4cf83cf8ecf81cf84cf83ceb9cebb cebf cea6cf81ceaccebdcebacebf.

About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

Join the Beyond Folders™ Community of readers passionate about time management, productivity, communication and workspace organization.

Read BFC News

Quick Subscribe to BFC News

Follow Beyond Folders™