May 30, 2023

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The new flex offices have one major drawback. Experts provide solutions. “Make your own cup of coffee” | Nina

Since the advent of hybrid workplaces and landscaping offices, we are all saying goodbye to our desk. No more room for family photos, small plants, or growing stacks of books on the ‘flexible desk’. Only: such an impersonal desk makes them less productive. What can you do?

Before the pandemic and the advent of clean offices, landscaped offices, and co-working spaces, we all loved making our offices a second home. That favorite mug of coffee next to your keyboard, swooping across your screen, to a plethora of books and magazines behind your computer.

Something quite natural, according to practical psychologist Tom Dijkmans: “As human beings, we have some basic psychological needs that are necessary for our personal and social functioning. Especially at work, because that’s where we spend a lot of time. Freedom and anatomy in our work are some of those basic needs. Being yourself is often reflected in personalizing your workplace.”

Occupational psychologist Tom Dijkmans. © Marilyn Peters

As a work psychologist, Tom visits many offices and helps companies set up their workspaces. In this way, it provides more communication and a sense of comfort in the workplace. Tom: “Before the time of the ever-popular ‘flexible desk’, you set up your workplace yourself. By seeing the same personal work items every day, you also deeply associate your desk with your work. Every day you get into your own ‘work cocoon’ and that’s how I quickly entered.” in working mode.”


Store some personal items in your locker. You can then take it with you to your workplace the next day.

Occupational psychologist Tom Dijkmans

“That’s the problem with today’s flexible agencies. Every office looks the same, but in the end every office is different. Different screen, different percentage of light, different aspect of the room. You need to be able to give your own accents to your workplace, to give your mind a signal” Action “This in the morning”.

“This also applies to where you work at home. Avoid making it seem different every day or that there are different things every day that can be a distraction.”

Not only things, but also the colleagues around you determine your productivity

So Tom recommends customizing your flex desk a little. but how? “You probably have a locker: you can store some personal items in it. You can then take it with you to your workplace the next day. Think of a picture of your kids, your coffee mug, and your personal mouse pad. By putting the same things on your desk every day, you get in in this distinct flow.


Studies show that you increase productivity when you can work in the same context and environment.”

Tom Dijkmans, occupational psychologist

It’s not just about things that make you feel at home at work. Colleagues around you are also an important factor. Tom recommends that you always try to sit next to the same people. “This is also how you get that sense of recognition and confidence. You get to recognize their keystrokes and their voice on the phone. And don’t think it’s abnormal for that coworker to heave a deep sigh. Numerous studies show that you increase productivity if you can always be working in the same environment.”

Who (or what) replaces the coffee room?

But staying in touch with colleagues isn’t always easy in these times of open offices and flexible working. This is why Tom founded the online platform.Who replaces the coffee room‘, as he collects tips and tricks for more communication in and around the workplace.

“Continue to work on that, on that connection with your colleagues and your workplace. Ideally, for example, there is a common room where colleagues can fraternise. It should not be a large cafeteria, it can also be a comfortable meeting place near the office Hang a bulletin board in that room with cute announcements, which also help increase communication.”

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