Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)
The environment you have around you whilst working can significantly impact how efficiently you work and the quality of your work. A good working environment can also reduce stress; you can read more about this here.
However, it can be challenging to recommend a good working environment as this is subjective and varies from person to person. In this blogpost, I aim to provide some tips and tools that will enable you to find the best working environment.
Location, Location, Location 📍
Finding the best location to complete your work is often the first hurdle; this space could be a desk in your room or a table in the kitchen; or you could use one of the many spots on campus, such as the Hugh Owen Library or the Arts Centre. Or, perhaps you sometimes prefer to work away from campus in spaces such as the National Library of Wales or a café. It’s also worth considering the noise level of your chosen location, for example the working environment in the Food Hall will be drastically different to that of Level F of the Hugh Owen Library.
I’ve always preferred a quieter working environment, and I have always struggled working at home. Therefore, Hugh Owen Library has always been my preferred choice; however, I frequently find that different rooms suit my needs better on different days. While equipment can often decide which space I use, the noise almost always influences my decision.
Making the Most of the Hugh Owen Library 📚
This interactive map of the Hugh Owen Library makes picking a space to work easier and saves you from getting lost, especially as there are numerous options of where to work within the three floors of the library. Spaces like the Iris de Freitas room on Level E are brilliant for group study but can get reasonably loud, especially when busy. If you’re looking for a quieter space to work from then Level F may be better for you, or if want a more private space for individual or group work, the Library also has bookable rooms; you can reserve these and view their availability online.
The power of sound 🎧
Music and audio can be powerful tools at your disposal to help you when working if used correctly. Personally, I’ve always found I do my best work when listening to music using services like Spotify. However, members of the Digital Skills Team suggested white noise applications like Noisli, which can be used to play weather patterns and even has its own playlists while offering many customisation options.
Audiobooks are also a popular option and can be accessed using services like Libby or Audible. These are especially useful whilst completing more mundane tasks, especially those requiring much repetition.