Follow these 8 tips to create your ideal working environment
How To Create A Productive Work Space
1. Design your space for ease.
To create a productive work space, design it for your own ease to aid your success. Arrange the things you need so that the things you will use most often are closest to you. For example, if you have drawers in your desk work from the top down with the things you use most frequently to the things you use less often furthest away. You don’t want to have to break your concentration to have to get up to get something unless you can avoid it. This should include having healthy snacks on hand and a large bottle of water to keep you energised and hydrated throughout the day.
2. Windows of productivity.
It’s been proven that looking out of windows is not a means of wasting time, they actually improve productivity. Gazing out of a window into the distance helps us to exercise our eyes and reduce eye strain. Opening a window and letting in fresh air also improves the air quality in our environment which aids focus and concentration. They are also a source of natural light, which again aids your productivity. In fact, working in a room with bad lighting can cause fatigue, eye strain, headaches and even depression, so let the natural light in wherever possible. Supplement the natural light with lamps wherever you need to.
3. Bring nature in.
According to a study by Cardiff University School of Psychology plants in an a work space can improve productivity by 15%. They lower physiological stress, increase attention span and improve wellbeing so choose yourself a couple of plants to brighten up your work space and boost your productivity. The one rule with this, is you need to remember to water the plant as although it wasn’t mentioned in the study, I’m fairly sure that a dead plant doesn’t have the same effect, so maybe opt for a cactus or something low maintenance if you don’t have green fingers.
4. Are you sitting comfortably?
Whilst it’s important to be comfortable at work, you don’t want to go to the extent that you are lounging as this will not conducive to work. Working at a desk or table and chair is the best way to work if you are working on a computer most of the day. As you’re going to be sitting for the majority of the day it’s worth investing in a decent quality chair, or at least some cushions to ensure you’re sitting at the right height. You should be 24-36 inches away from your screen, with your head slightly above the top of the monitor. Sitting in a slightly reclined chair has also been proven to reduce the pressure on the spine.
5. Keep your working environment clean and tidy.
If you have a cleaner who can come in, great, if not designate a small amount of time each week to keep your environment clean and clutter free. Clutter in your environment provides a distraction and if it builds up can also start to have a negative impact on your mood. A clean and clear environment enables you to come in and focus on what you want to get on with.
6. Warm up.
Don’t try and sit in a working environment which is too cold. The optimum temperature for a productive working environment is 21-22 degrees Celcius. If you’re cold you’re using a substantial amount of energy to keep warm and that’s energy that can’t be used to focus on the task in hand, found a study from Cornell University. The study found that in colder working environments people made 44% more mistakes. The reason that warmer environments aid productivity isn’t just that they are less distracting, a warmer environment makes people happier. So turn up the thermostat without feeling guilty about it.
7. Decide if you prefer music or silence.
Music and background noise or silence is often cited as having an impact on productivity, yet there seems little agreement on what actually works best, tending to suggest that preferences for noise/music in a work environment is very much a personal choice. Experiment with different types of music compared to not having any at all. You can also try other background noise, for example Coffitivity provide background coffee shop noise, which has also been attributed with increasing productivity. You may find that you prefer a certain type of music when you’re engaged in a particular type of work and a different type, or none at all for other types of work. Find your own preference and go with whatever works for you.
8. The sweet smell of success.
It may not be the first thing you think of but the right kind of smells in your working environment can also aid your productivity. Smell is the strongest of the senses and it is able to influence brain activity. Using reed diffusers, candles or essential oils in your environment can boost your productivity.
Try these fragrances for different benefits:
Lemon to promote concentration and aid calming and clarifying
Rosemary to improve memory retention, and fight physical and mental fatigue
Peppermint as an energy booster to invigorate the mind and promote concentration.
Your own work space is personal and unique to you so find places that inspire you to be productive and incorporate elements of those spaces in whatever ways you can. Notice not just the layout of the office and the furniture, but the sounds and smells as well as other design and storage features. Your work space is personal to you and your business so make it work for you and enable to bring your most productive self to work every day.