Never underestimate the importance of a well organised work station for increased productivity and efficiency.
We all work differently and it’s important to set-up our workspaces according to how you best function. Tidy, minimalist rooms/work stations have been linked to maintaining focus while busier, eclectic rooms/workstations have been known to help people maintain creative inspiration.
Regardless of how you best work, good organisation, ergonomics, and a welcoming atmosphere are the key to high productivity.
Keep it tidy!
Make sure to keep your work space organised. Keep core items necessary to your work flow and remove anything that you don’t use on a regular basis to keep your mind clear.
It’s best to store items that you use on an irregular basis in an easy-to-access drawer or cupboard so that only the essentials are on your desk. Where possible, save PDF versions of documents to help cut down on distracting paper piles and keep a bin close-by so that trash can easily be disposed of.
It’s good practice to take a couple of minutes at the end of each workday to tidy your desk and remove anything that shouldn’t be there. That way, each morning, you’re able to hit the ground running with a clear, fresh workspace.
Ergonomics and the essentials.
Desk, chair, monitor, keyboard and mouse
To avoid productivity problems such as eye and neck strain, tight shoulders, back pain, sore legs and tension headaches you want to make sure the height and position of your desk, chair, monitor, keyboard and mouse are correct.
The height of your desk and chair should allow your elbows to rest by your ribs while seated enabling you to type on a keyboard with your arms and hands parallel to the floor. Legs should fit comfortably underneath the desk either crossed or with feet flat on floor.
The top of your monitor screen should be eye level or slightly below and approximately an arm length away when sitting back in your chair (adjusted as necessary so that you can read without having to tilt your head or hunch forward). If you use a laptop it’s best to elevate this on a stand and pair with a wireless keyboard for typing to avoid neck and eye strain.
Your keyboard should sit directly in front of you and mouse should be next to it in close reach to avoid stretching and wrist strain.
You can always invest in a keyboard tray, a footrest, monitor/laptop stand, put the desk on risers, or simply try adjusting your chair's seat height if you’re finding it tricky to achieve the ideal posture.
Decorate for productivity.
Personal decorations are a great way to make us feel inspired and uplifted but try limiting these to 3 items or less.
Indoor plants are a decorative essential and not only help improve indoor air quality but have been proven to boost productivity by helping to relieve stress, anxiety and fatigue. There are hardy plants out there that even the biggest novice will find easy to maintain. Try an Aloe Vera plant or a forgiving Peace Lily on your desk and feel the positive, clean energy flow.
The quality of lighting in your home and office can also affect your mood and well-being. Uniformed, natural lighting is best and has been shown to improve mood/morale, focus/alertness and aid in healthy sleeping patterns. Natural light and outdoor views can also decrease stress, and anxiety, so if you’re lucky enough to have a desk next to a window that is ideal. If you’re in a dimmer part of a room, make sure you get outdoors for regular, quick breaks and invest in a desk lamp to aid your eyes and focus.
We’ve only just scratched the surface on a well set-up work space but hopefully you’ll be able to implement some of these simple tips and improve your work productivity and efficiency.