It’s been approximately a year and a half since the first pandemic lockdowns swept the nation. One thing we’ve all discovered during that time is that many of us can get as much (or more) work done from the comfort of our homes.
While many businesses are allowing employees to continue working remotely from home, other companies want to bring workers back. Many say they still believe in the value of talking to others and providing direction in person.
If you’re headed back to an office setting, it’s essential to make your work environment as conducive to productivity as possible. It almost doesn’t matter what your position is. We’ve been shown that comfort is necessary to be productive.
When you make an effort to create a comfortable and productive environment, you’ll not only be happier — you’ll get more done faster. Listed below are five tips you can consider to make your office space more conducive to productivity.
1. Start with your desk and chair.
Your office desk and chair are the two most important items in your office. Nowadays, of course, desks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functions. Take time to pick carefully. Finding the right office workstation desk for your line of work can make a huge difference.
Depending on how much space you need for the top surface of your desk, where your computers and tablets will go, and how much storage space you need, the perfect desk is almost certainly available. If you spend a little money and invest in yourself, you’ll be able to get more work done and organize your office (and thoughts) to a personal best.
Your office chair might even be more important. We spend countless hours sitting in our office chairs. Most of the time, these chairs aren’t nearly as supportive as they should be.
You should sit up and be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you’re slumping in your chair. Putting some money into an effective office chair that will support your back and keep you at attention is necessary for you to do your best work. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised at how good you feel after a day’s work, you’ll get more done during work hours.
2. Make your work environment your own.
You might not think that curating your office will make you more productive, but it will. When you feel as though the space is yours to augment and create, you’ll create a sense of ownership over your work space. Set out some photos of your family and friends that make you happy or motivate you to work harder and do better. Purchase or bring in accessories that will help you stay on task.
A coffee maker or mini refrigerator can help eliminate distractions and keep you in your workspace instead of going to the break room for another cup. Keep healthy, nonperishable snacks nearby. Bring in a comfortable chair for guests. Decorate your space in a way that’s appropriate and reflects your personality.
Buying a plant or two has been known to do wonders for morale. Having plants close at hand improves mood and productivity. The smell and appearance of plants make us more content. We spend so much of our time in offices, away from the natural world. Keeping a plant around silently reminds you of the basics of life and what really matters. Leveraging your space to its optimal will help you understand the difference between output and productivity. (Spoiler: Productivity is more important.)
3. Control your lighting.
One thing that often gets overlooked is the quality of the lighting in your office. You’ll want to balance brightness against softness. Your office should be bright enough that you don’t fall asleep and stay alert, but not so bright that it hurts your eyes.
When your office is sufficiently lit, you won’t have to keep your computer screens at their brightest setting, which can hurt your eyes. Controlling the lighting in your office can greatly impact your ability to stay awake and productive even when you’re tired. Many offices have horrible fluorescent lights. Discuss lighting’s effect on productivity with management.
You should also be careful not to take in too much blue light from your devices. Keep their brightness settings dialed down. If you wear glasses, ask your optometrist for blue light lenses to protect your eyes.
We stare at our devices far more than we should. Protect your eyes and make sure that you don’t get fatigued from all the blue light of devices. You’ll likely be surprised at how much it really helps to control the lighting in your office.
4. Use tech accessories tailored to your work style.
Technology is evolving and becoming extremely useful when it comes to productivity. Pay attention to what you need, where your body tires, and repetitive tasks that may have long ago become obsolete. See if you can find an accessory that will help make your life easier.
While it depends largely on what you do for a living, utilizing tech accessories can enable you to get more done easily. Technology can even help you communicate more effectively with colleagues and clients. It can offer new, exciting ways to work on projects. Tech innovations can save time and space. There are plenty of ways tech gadgets and accessories can make your office more enjoyable and productive. Take a look at what you need.
5. Stay organized.
Whether you keep a lot of paper files in your office or just have your computer, staying organized is paramount to creating a productive and comfortable work environment. Keeping your office clean and ensuring that everything is in the right place will help clear your head for the tasks at hand.
While some of the brightest minds have had messy desks, it almost certainly won’t help you think to have papers strewn everywhere with important items difficult to find. It all comes down to helping yourself by thinking less about trifles and more about the projects, work, and goals for the future. Stay organized and you’ll see a marked difference in your mindset.
As we head back to work environments, there will invariably be some adjustments we all need to make. We’ve seen that employees can be productive from home. There’s no reason that the office can’t be just as conducive to getting stuff done. Create a welcoming, comfortable, and productive office space and you’ll not just get more work done more quickly, you’ll be happier while you do it.