Studies have shown that the work environment can have a very important impact on an employee’s ability to focus and be more productive. The design of your workspace, regardless if it is at home or inside an office building, is very important when it comes to how well you perform at work. It’s important to note that this is not only about how you choose to decorate it, but also, about how you feel when you are there, the atmosphere in the room, and the surroundings.
In this article, we will talk about how to create a productive workspace, so you can become more alert, productive, and, overall, a happier person.
1. Let Light In
Good lighting means that you will be able to maintain your focus for longer and therefore increase productivity levels. Lighting is so important that even studies have proven its efficiency. And yet, it seems that it is still one of the most ignored aspects in today’s modern offices. The idea is to place your desk near a natural light source, preferably windows, and let light in. Bad lighting and even too much exposure to artificial light can cause fatigue, headaches, irritability, and eye strain, among other things. Consequences of having a badly lit office can be even worse—you might end up feeling depressed.
When it comes to company offices, the problem is that you don’t have much control over such things. But you can bring your own light source, like natural-daylight bulbs, or invest in a light-therapy device. If your office is at home, things are much easier. You should let as much natural light in as possible. Open your windows and doors, and on those cloudy days, use lamps to light up the environment. You will certainly feel a lot better.
2. Find the Right Desk and Chair
While sitting at your desk you might find yourself constantly trying to adjust, fidgeting all the time, stretching and trying to find the perfect position. In most cases, if you regularly do this, it means that you may not have the right chair and desk for you. This is very important, because apart from being uncomfortable and bad for your health, a bad chair keeps you from being focused on what you have to do. So, there are a few things to know to choose the right desk and chair for you:
- Your feet should be resting on the floor or at least on a footrest;
- Your eyes should be 24-36 inches away from your computer screen. Also, the top of the monitor should be at eye-level or slightly below;
- Your chair should be a bit reclined, so you can reduce the pressure on your spine and avoid getting annoying lower back pain.
While you cannot do much about those things in a company office, you can at least ask for an adjustable chair and bring some pillows for your lower back. The keyboard and mouse are usually separate, and many companies also have computer risers which you can use to adjust the height of the monitor. For a home office, things are simple: just invest in a good chair that fits you and a desk that’s right for your size.
3. The Warmer, the Better
Every office employee should be allowed to control the workplace temperature to ensure that it’s comfortable. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually happen, and this tiny detail ends up affecting employees’ productivity and focus. So, in the happy scenario where you can set the office thermostat, remember—the warmer, the better. Cornell University found after a monthlong study that temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit increase productivity and lower the number of mistakes people make It’s a nice detail to remember if you don’t feel quite comfortable even when you’re working from your home office.
4. Keep a Clean Office
Remember when your mother used to scold you for not cleaning your room? Well, she was right all along. because decluttering helps people clear their minds and become creative. Also, having a clean work environment can help you feel good and relaxed, therefore boosting your productivity. So, even if you work at a company office, keeping the desk clean is your duty. Take ten minutes in the morning or toward the end of the day to put things in order. Put anything that might distract you away.
If you work from home, things might get trickier because your entire house can be distracting at times. A good idea would be to have a day in the week that’s just for cleaning your home. As for your workplace, do the same thing. Take ten minutes daily to tidy it and make sure that all is where it should be.
5. The Right Music or No Music at All
There are many people out there who love listening to music while working because it helps their creative juices flow. They simply put on some noise-canceling headphones and blast their favorite songs on repeat. Other people adore listening to chillout music to relax while working. There are even some types of music that increase productivity, studies have claimed over the years. So, if you are also part of this category, you could try listening to music at your company office or home office and see if it improves in any way your focus and productivity.
However, according to science, there are many people who find music distracting and stressful and would much prefer a quiet work environment. This is perfectly achievable if you work from home as you can have a perfectly quiet atmosphere. But if you work at a company office, perfect silence usually doesn’t exist. So, try and focus in the given circumstances and make the most out of those quiet moments that come and go.
6. Scents Matter Too
It’s not only the lighting in the room or music that can help a person become more productive and focused. Scents matter too, and you can begin by making your office smell nice for a proactive mindset and relaxation. So, if you want to stay focused, these scents might be of help:
- Cinnamon helps you focus
- Pine makes you more alert
- Lavender helps you relax when you are stressed out
- Citrus makes you feel more awake and happier
- Peppermint lifts your spirits
Sadly, making your work area smell nice in a company office might annoy your co-workers. So, the only solution would be to keep it subtle by only pouring some drops of essential oil in a handkerchief or cotton ball every time you need a boost to your focus and productivity. At home, you are free to use scented candles, essential oils, or even incense.
Photo: via Pxhere