Whether you work in an office or you work from home, one thing is for sure: Your desk needs to be a place where you can work efficiently and effectively. Productivity in the office will be impossible if your workspace doesn’t work for you.
Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true changes you can make to your desk so that it suits you both functionally and visually. With a polished place to work, you’ll quickly find that your productivity in the office becomes easier. All you have to do is follow these five tips to make your workspace work for you:
1. Let the Light In
Most professional workplaces have bright, stark overhead lighting that efficiently illuminates the space, but it adds an insufficient amount of warmth and character. It turns out that good lighting is a key player in your productivity in the office. Poor lighting can hurt your eyes, cause fatigue and give you headaches.
Fixing the lighting in your at-home office is easy. Update your tabletop or overhead lighting, so it’s bright enough to see what you need to, but not too overpowering. In a traditional office, you might have to bring in your own desktop lamp. You could also ask your colleagues if they’d mind you opening blinds or curtains so that more natural light is allowed in. It turns out that the sun’s rays are known to boost productivity on their own.
2. Bring Down the Noise
Background noises, chatter, music, traffic, TV — anything that’s happening in your aural peripheral is affecting how much you’re focusing. A quiet room is your best friend when it comes to workplace efficiency, so stake out the quietest place in your home if you work there. Close the door to close yourself off from any loud domestic happenings that might otherwise steal your focus.
A loud workplace is a trickier problem to solve, just because you have to be present. In many cases, coworkers chat back and forth across the office floor to ask questions and solve problems, so you don’t want to be completely mute to everything happening. But a pair of noise-canceling headphones — or a set of headphones playing productivity-boosting white noise soundtracks —can help you overcome the workspace din. If things get really loud, sneak into a conference room or empty office, close the door and find your focus.
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3. Introduce Ergonomics
This is especially important if you work on a computer for more than four hours a day. If your chair, desk, keyboard and monitor aren’t set up properly, you’ll be less productive. Just think about it — if your monitor is too far away, you’ll be squinting and hurting your eyes. If your wrists are bent at too harsh of an angle while you type, your joints will be tender. A bad desk chair will make your back achy.
That’s why workplace ergonomics apply to every piece of your desk — not only the furniture’s height itself, but where you place your computer screen and monitor on it as well. Your chair should be adjustable, cushy and supportive, with armrests and lower back support. You can easily put these tips into practice in both a home and professional workplace, too.
4. Add Some Productivity-Boosting Character
Another problem with your workspace could be its lack of color. You don’t want things too busy because, again, visual clutter can equate to mental clutter. But a few strategic pops of color can make your workplace more engaging.
The best colors to choose are the four most basic: red, yellow, green and blue. Red is a stimulating hue often used to represent energy, while yellow embodies optimism and creativity. Green gives us a sense of balance, and blue is often a symbol of serenity and calm — ocean vacation, anyone? Choose the hue that reflects the feeling you need while on the job, and decorate with the according pop of color.
5. Clean up the Clutter
Remember in college when you’d have an exam? You’d sit down to study, crack open your book and realize just how messy your dorm had become. Rather than delving into your textbook and cramming for your exam, you’d get up and clean your entire room. It may have seemed like a procrastination tactic, but it turns out that visual clutter can cause mental clutter — which is a huge distraction when you’re trying to get things done.
This applies in a professional setting, too. Productivity in the office can hinge upon the state of your workplace. A clean and organized desktop is a surefire way to improve your productivity. Not only is it visually easier to handle, but a de-cluttered desk makes it easier for you to find important documents, phone numbers, to-do lists, etc. Whatever went missing in your mess will be easy to find, saving you time and stress.
Now, Time to Be Productive
With these five tips in mind — and the countless other ways people have overhauled their workspaces — you’ll find your new desk is the prime place for you to get the job done. All that’s left to do is get started and, in no time, you’ll be reaching your productivity potential from where you’re sitting right now.
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