Your surroundings can influence your productivity. Here’s how we believe you can optimize your workspace to be more productive at work. Although work location can play a huge role in productivity the same can also be said for the layout of office furniture and equipment, the flow between employee space. While working you spend the majority of your time sitting at your desk, therefore the way your desk is set up will play a big role in determining how you feel while you’re at work and how productive you are. In fact, research suggests effective workplace design may improve job satisfaction and productivity. 

We believe that it is worth putting thought, time, and effort into crafting a workspace that works for you. 

Here are some of our top tips:

  1. Lighting

The quality of lighting in your office can affect your mood and your well-being. Poor lighting—whether it’s dim lighting or harsh lighting from overhead fluorescent lights—can cause eye strain, stress, and fatigue. Luckily, the best kind of light you can have in your office is natural light. So why not try picking a desk near a window? Research says natural light encourages alertness, improves mood, decreases stress and in the process increases productivity. Also looking out a window every 20 minutes can help to decrease eye strain! 

However, if you don’t have control over lighting at your workplace and aren’t lucky enough to have your desk near a window (much less a corner office surrounded by windows), try getting outside more for your breaks.

2. Keep Plants

Can plants help you do your work? It may sound silly, but, yes, a plant or two in your office could improve your productivity and happiness. We spend a large chunk of our day working indoors with poor air quality which can be really harmful to your health and work productivity. Plants also help to BOOST our mood by lowering our blood pressure, energize the mind, and may even promote deeper, more rejuvenating sleeping patterns.

Listen to the science. Scientists had found that indoor plants prevent fatigue during attention-demanding work. Even just having a window view of live greenery can be restorative and keep us focused. 

3. Think of Your Desk Like a Cockpit

The cockpit on an aircraft puts all the flying controls and information panels needed within arm’s reach for the pilot—and it leaves out extraneous information or tools that could be distracting. For example, you should only keep the things you use daily within reach. This could be a pen and a notebook, your phone charging stand, your water bottle or your coffee cup.

Store everything else off of your desk. Store supplies you might need weekly or monthly, such as scissors or extra Post-It notes, in your desk drawers, stuff that you may only use once every once in a while.   

Clear cable clutter with ties and other tools. Search for “cable clutter” and you’ll find a ton of cheap tools, such as velcro ties that stick to the underside of your desktop, to more elaborate DIY projects 

Taking a few minutes out of your day to keep your desk in order can really help to boost your productivity and concentration levels. 

4. A little bit of personalisation never hurt anybody

Why not make your desk space your own! Sure, keeping things minimal makes sense, but studies have also shown that having the ability to personalize the workspace helps us cope better with distractions and stress. This can help to establish a more positive relationship between our identity and our workplace. Personalize your space but remember to do it in moderation. Stick to personal items that will inspire you to be productive. This could be a photograph of your family or friends which may help to keep you motivated, or simply setting your desktop screen display with an inspirational image can do the trick. You could try a mood board with all of your travel goals, shopping wishlists, or that new car you’re working towards? 

5. Practice Proper Posture

Try not to forget the perfect desk setup needs the perfect office chair. Why not invest in an ergonomic chair? After your desk, your chair is the most important piece of furniture in your office, especially if you sit in it for long work sessions. Studies say that an ergonomic chair can reduce physical discomfort which in turn interferes with your concentration. Make sure your chair has lumbar support, the curve in the back of the chair should support your lower spine, following the natural curve of your lower back.

With your desk chair in mind it’s important to remember the following:

  • The ideal chair height is one where your thighs are parallel to the ground while sitting, and your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Your elbows should form a 90-degree angle with your desktop or laptop so that you can type without affecting your wrist or arm muscles.
  • The top of the monitor screen should line up with your eyes when you’re sitting straight up in your chair.
  • Your monitor should also be at a distance where you can read without tilting your head or hunching forward.
  • A posture-effective chair will help you to sit up straight to prevent back and neck pain.

The best thing you can do to stay healthy at your desk is to be more active during the day and regularly take stock of your posture. Take frequent breaks that incorporate moving around and stretching.

In short, To build the perfect desk setup that allows for maximum productivity you need to create a space that is a joy to spend time in. Light your work desk correctly, the more natural light the better. Bring a bit of the outdoors in and introduce office plants into the space and try to keep things organized.

Karl O'Brien

Author Karl O'Brien

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