What according to you makes you more productive? Is it your functional to-do lists? Setting long-term, short-term goals, weekly goals? Taking frequent breaks? Now, let’s agree that these among others help you get work done. But I ask you to think again. Is that all, really? What about the physical space you inhabit most of your day. Do you think that it makes a difference in your concentration levels and focus?
Research says that one thing that gets most overlooked is the impact the office space has on employee productivity. Work culture alone cannot boost your productivity. This is why workspace design is becoming the talk of the town and organizations aren’t slacking from spending money to make their workspace more inspiring.
Here are a few things you should consider to improve your productivity at work.
A touch of green
Not all of us get to sit by the window that opens up to a garden or trees where birds perch. However, you can add a touch of green to your workstation. A journal article published in the American Psychological Association states that plants improve cognitive function at work. It only makes sense that you invest in a few sturdy indoor plants like spider plants, crotons, money plant, etc. Plants will perk up your mood and energy as well as purify the air and make it more breathable.
Let there be enough sunlight
Natural light is the best way to brighten up the workplace. It not only brightens up your mood but also affects your overall well-being. Sunlight boosts vitamin D production that is known to make us more alert and motivated. But not all of us get to sit by the window or a spot where there’s maximum sunlight. In this case, you should be careful about the overhead lights. They should be softer, natural-toned LED lighting that mimics natural sunlight. Halogen lights are not a good idea as they cause fatigue.
An ergonomics study at Cornell University found out that people who worked in chilly temperature in an office made frequent errors. In a month-long study where the office temperature was increased from 66 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. They found out that errors reduced by 44% and output increased to 150%. The study showed the impact of indoor office environment and productivity.
So, ideally, for you to be able to work comfortably the temperature should neither be too warm that you sweat it out nor too cold that you’re shivering. Talk to your colleagues and settle for a comfortable and ideal range.
How do you feel sitting at your desk for an entire day? Does it make you feel less productive? Do you slouch and feel lazy? It’s because these are some of the ill-effects of sitting for long and why ergonomic seating is increasingly being discussed.
People are beginning to understand why adjustable desks are a healthy alternative. Apparently, those who use standing desks are 10% more productive than those who don’t. It is known to create a sense of urgency by making you focused and motivated to complete the task at hand. Standing desks aren’t a new invention. Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, Leonardo da Vinci, and other prominent figures have worked at standing desks.
Get away from distractions
Open floor plans changed how colleagues interact with each other. It has bumped up the number of chance meetings and fostered collaboration. You don’t need to book conference rooms when you can huddle around collaborative workspaces and brainstorm. However, there’s a downside too because such floor plans focus on ‘collaboration’ and employees have very little ‘me’ time. As a result, some people crave for a quiet space that gives them some privacy. If you wish to get away from the noise and work uninterruptedly, go to one of the conference rooms. After all, you can’t control distractions but can get away from it.
Tell us what keeps you productive at work or how you deal with what keeps you from staying focused.