What Should Your Workspace Look Like?

George Ma, Contributing Writer

Since PDS moved to distance learning, one’s workspace has become drastically more important.  Many individuals, for example, have gotten into the habit of studying and completing assignments on their beds and in their PJs, and while this type of experience sounds comfortable and incredibly tempting, it may not be the best way to produce quality school work. In response to “What is an ideal workplace?” Dr. Maritoni Shah, PDS Director of Wellness Services, specifically noted that “your bedroom is not ideal!”

Mehak Dhaliwal’s workspace, featuring a view of a sunset. (Photo/Mehak Dhaliwal ’22)

Dr. Shah shared that an environment with “books and computers, a comfortable chair, soft white light that doesn’t strain your eyes, the ability for privacy,  and a clock to keep you on schedule” would be most conducive to quality and efficient work. Though some might be skeptical of how much changing a workspace can benefit your performance, there are plenty of studies proving the significance of the environment in which you study. Designing and creating the best work area is difficult, but much of Upper School has been doing just fine.

Transforming a workplace does not require a lot of effort or creativity. At the end of the day, everyone is different, so some might just need to make a few tweaks to build the optimal location for online school. Sophomore Mehak Dhaliwal, for instance, only “moved a desk into [her room] and basically kept everything [she needed there].” Clearly this was not a massive change, yet

Dhaliwal says that she has “really liked it!”

Keeping things simple is never bad, but that doesn’t mean a total change-up hurts either. Unlike Dhaliwal, senior Adayliah Ley found a spare room in her house and moved everything there.

Adayliah Ley shows how she transformed a spare room in her house into a productive work environment.

The room “is tranquil and free of distractions,” she noted. During the process of selecting her designated workspace, Ley made sure there was a window, which gave her the chance to “take advantage of the weather while stuck inside working on schoolwork.” In addition to a new workspace, without access to the Patrick Kerney Fitness center, Ley found another location for exercise, claiming it as her home gym.  

Ley and Dhaliwal both have setups of which Dr. Shah would most likely approve. They have created great workspaces, though their methods might not be perfect for everyone. There are a variety of productive environments someone can use or make. Freshman David Cohen’s designated desk in his house is a prime example.

David Cohen very precisely laid out his desk, creating a space perfect for him.

Unlike Dhaliwal, he made sure to carefully select where his desk was. Cohen’s desk was not as elaborately thought out as Ley’s either though, but it still works!

Times are difficult, and online school doesn’t compare to regular school, mainly because of the absence of time with friends. However, just because everything in the world seems to be going poorly does not mean your grades need to follow the same pattern. Follow Dr. Shah’s advice and try some variations of Ley, Dhaliwal, and Cohen’s workspaces. Who knows, maybe one will work for you!

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