Whether you are having trouble focusing in your office, or feel stifled and cramped in your cubicle, a disorganized or too-relaxed workspace can be a source of mental blocks and procrastination. But by identifying these distractions, you can come up with a plan to create an environment that prevents distraction and creates a more productive office space. At Modernize, we are committed to helping you find ways to streamline your space and increase productivity. Follow these 7 guidelines to help you create a better workspace that will make your productivity skyrocket and your overall mood improve.
The first step to creating a more productive office space is to choose a layout that makes sense. Many employees feel their productivity levels rise with a diverse work environment, so if your office space allows, make room for your desk, a sofa and/or chairs, a meeting table, and filing cabinets or other storage. Use your desk for daily tasks such as catching up on emails, working on spreadsheets, and other computer or writing based tasks. A comfortable sofa or chairs is perfect for informal meetings, while a larger and more formal meeting table works best for group meetings and brainstorming sessions. By sticking to these unspoken room dividing rules, you will feel more comfortable in each work space. If you spend some of your time working from home, follow the same rules as above, making sure your home/work boundary lines are clear and that your home office is set up in a similar way.
Nothing stifles productivity like a dimly lit room, so it’s important to get the lighting right in your office space. If you have control of the windows, open the blinds and let in as much natural light as possible. Psychologists have found that sunlight does wonders for mental health. Sadly, a corner office with wall-to-wall windows isn’t available to everyone, so try to pay attention to the lighting you do have and your reaction to it. Are you squinting to read or straining your eyes? Is a dim workspace causing you to feel lethargic? Experiment with some different lighting options. A simple lighting change could alleviate this stress and create a much more productive environment.
Getting the comfort levels just right in your office makes a huge difference in terms of productivity. Too much comfort induces lethargy and sleepiness, whereas too little lowers morale and discourages work.Get the balance right by investing in a few products that will keep you and your office space at optimum output. First, invest in a top-notch office chair or portable back support. According to the American Academy of Physicians, around 90% of adults have experienced back pain, and we all know that getting good back support while you work makes a huge difference in both mood and effectiveness in the workplace. Second, make sure to take control of your body temperature. Most rented and leased office spaces will have centralized air conditioning and heating, so dress for the indoor weather with layers.
Personalizing your office is important for employee morale, but make sure you don’t take it too far. Adopting a minimalist approach will greatly benefit your productivity by helping you focus on work instead of cluttered distractions. A few family photos and low-maintenance plants make your office seem less like the cubicle or boxed room that it is and more like home without taking your attention away from your daily tasks.
Remove all electronics that tend to distract you. Perhaps you work best while playing music in the background—however, playing music on your cell phone leads to texting and surfing the web unintentionally. You may notice that playing pop music has you thinking more about the weekend’s plans than the task at hand. Researchers from Cambridge found that music with lyrics are 48% more likely to distract a worker while music without lyrics increases productivity. Set your radio or music app to a classical music station and watch your productivity levels increase dramatically.
Organize your space for efficiency. Consider how you operate day to day and make the things you access most often easiest to reach. Color code when you can, and label your storage to make old files easy to find. If you also work from home, equip your home office in a similar setup to your rented or leased space: the same technologies, operating systems, and programs will maximize your productivity and efficiency when you are on the go. A productive flexible work space consists of well organized, portable items, so make use of memory sticks, smartphones, and laptops. Lastly, remember to bring your briefcase or portfolio to work every day in case you need to grab files and go.
Those of us with busy work schedules often find it difficult to keep a clean and tidy office space. By putting off the cleaning process, the clutter can become overwhelming and unbearable. Set aside a day each month to organize and clean your workspace and ensure that your space will never become too untidy and disorganized.
A guest blog courtesy of Modernize.