6 Tips to Create the Best Workspace for Productivity
Your work space could be holding back your productivity. Click here to learn 6 tips!
Productivity is what drives business success in the long run. Unlike personal values and varying skill sets, productivity can be boosted in a simpler way. Much depends on the structure and the setting of the office, the choice of furniture and equipment, and the overall vibe.
It is true that different people have different preferences, but there are still some general tips on how to improve your workspace for productivity. Let’s check them out!
1. Intuitive Workspace Design
Interruptions are the major issues workers face. According to a study performed by University of California, Irvine, workers are interrupted every 11 minutes and resume their work after 25 more minutes have passed. A simple calculation will leave us with stunning statistics (ca. 2 and a half hours lost to interruption every day); there’s definitely room for improvement here.
Needless to say, the consequences of interruptions are significant, mildly put. Not only precious time is lost, but workers also face exhaustion. Procedural errors are more frequent when workers are being interrupted; according to Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied, interruptions of just 2.8 seconds lead to twice the number of errors. Many workers have simply accepted interruptions as part of their job, but they don’t have to become commonplace.
I.e., intuitive workspace design can boost productivity and decrease interruptions to a minimum or even abolish them completely. How come?
Simply put, intuitive office design translates into a workspace that can be used easily. All amenities should be easily accessible so that the employees don’t have to leave their office to fetch what they need.
The first obvious example would be performance gadgets: telephones and printers, for example. Another important factor is - a quiet atmosphere. This is especially important when lots of telephoning is involved. If the office is crammed with people, it’s no good.
Next on, refreshments should be close by. Put a coffee/tea maker in the office and employees will only have to reach for it instead of interrupting their tasks to leave the office.
2. Break Opportunities
Burnouts are a common occurrence these days and, judging by current developments, they’re not likely to go away any time soon (if indeed ever). That’s why it’s important to schedule regular breaks and even irregular ones, where applicable. This doesn’t mean that employees should take a break four times within an hour just to stretch their legs and have a bite.
Rather, they should be able to take a break whenever they have reached their productivity limits. Don’t we all know too well how often multitasking is called for and urgent tasks due yesterday pop up? Rather than going through a task checklist to get as many tasks as possible over soon (which is never a recommended strategy!), take a break when you feel you need one.
Of late, many companies have begun to employ stand-to-sit desks to help employees move and change positions (stiff neck, anyone?).
Some positions allow for additional freedom. For example, if you’re glued to your laptop all day, you may as well do that in a more comfortable environment - at home or outside, for example.
3. Get a Plant or Two
Many people overlook this simple strategy. Plants don’t only serve to make an office prettier, but they also offer inspiration. Imagine working in a basement. Would you be happy? Now imagine working in an office full of light with an assortment of plants around you. Would you feel better?
Studies have shown that indoor plants have major positive benefits, including:
- They clean the air.
- They help to reduce noise levels.
- They help to reduce stress.
- They help to increase productivity.
- They help to reduce absence rates.
- They make work spaces more attractive.
Adding some plants to your office shouldn’t be too difficult, but mind the environment. Not all plants can thrive in all kinds of environments. Ask for professional guidance when choosing your plants. as there are numerous factors that contribute to their growth.
4. Keep the Workspace Clean
This should go without saying, but way too many work spaces are untidy. Sitting in a messy office can be discouraging and uninspiring, so cleaning your workspace regularly is highly recommended.
Many companies pay professional cleaners to do the job, but consider this: employees eat and drink every day. At least make an effort to remove the empty cup from the desk.
5. Personalize Your Workspace
Every one of us has at least once sat in an office where the employee keeps a picture of their family. Some keep pictures of their pets, while others choose fine art.
When it comes to your private workspace, anything goes, but make sure to personalize it. Randomized offices are uninspiring, to say the least, as you can easily test by trying to work from different spots in your house. Try the basement or the attic first and then more to your private little space and you’ll see the difference immediately.
Anything that holds emotional value for you (and can be displayed in shared workplaces) will do the trick.
6. Create a Connected Work Environment
Albeit introverts might disapprove of the practice, creating a connected workspace actually improves productivity in great many cases. With the majority of people reporting they’re feeling increasingly lonely, it is a good idea to think about creating a workspace that boosts socialization.
Another reason why a connected workspace boosts productivity is because everyone involved is part of a larger goal. This makes everyone part of a bigger picture or, what companies often define as - shared success. When a task is successful, every participant feels proud of it.
The importance of productivity can hardly be exaggerated, but even if we know that, many of us don’t make an effort to increase it. For most people, the efforts are linked to bothersome work that takes their precious time, but as you can see from the tips explained above, this isn’t necessarily so.
Buying a plant or two cannot be that time consuming and neither can putting a coffee machine closer to your desk. Bottom line, it’s the mindset that needs to accept the changes and the rest will naturally follow.
Give it a try! Put a succulent and a picture of your pet on your desk and see what happens. Success guaranteed!
Writer, Editor and Digital PR Specialist
Angela Ash is a writer at heart, focusing on numerous topics related to business, productivity, mental health, travel and more. But, she also loves to edit, is addicted to HARO, and somehow finds time to write poetry and play the piano.