Our workspace has an important impact on our productivity and the enjoyment that we get out of what we’re doing. Our environment affects our mood, our stress levels and how comfortable we feel.
For this reason, it is a good idea to optimise your workspace to suit your needs so that you feel motivated and happy every time you sit down for your working day. Whether you work in an office or at home, there are small things you can do to make your environment better for you.
First off, you want your workspace to be comfortable. It is nearly impossible for you to work productively and efficiently if you’re uncomfortable, in pain or constantly fidgeting to find a more comfortable position. A poorly-designed chair can cause you to have bad posture and when you slouch for long periods of time it’s likely you’ll experience backaches, headaches, fatigue and poor concentration. It can also cause you to hold tension in your shoulders, which means that even when you’re not sitting in the chair, you will slouch because it feels comfortable to your body. You also do not want to put yourself at risk of chronic pain or back and neck problems because of your chair or the poor design of your workspace.
For this reason, you need to consider your desk, chair and monitor and if they are currently working for you. If you’re finding yourself slouched or slumped or experiencing any kind of pain, talk to your seniors about getting a chair that is more ergonomically friendly or a standing desk as an alternative. Raising the height of your monitor or adjusting the height of your desk can also make a difference to your posture. A small adjustment such as this could prove to have a big impact on how you physically feel day-to-day at your desk. If you’re working from home or own your own business, it’s worth investing in a good quality ergonomic chair for the sake of your health and your work.
You Need Light
Good lighting in your workspace is crucial. Bad lighting can cause physical problems such as eye strain and also make you feel fatigued and lethargic. It is also more likely to negatively impact your mood. If you have control over where you’re working, such as in a home office, make sure to pick an area where there is a source of natural light as the sun boosts your energy and mood. If natural lighting isn’t an option, then make sure to pick artificial lighting that isn’t too harsh. A desk lamp or a standing lamp near your desk can make a big difference.
A cluttered workspace hinders productivity because physical clutter can affect you mentally. Clutter doesn’t just have a visual effect, but it can make it more difficult to complete tasks. If piles of documents, paper or other items are taking up space on your desk and preventing you from finding paperwork you need, you will not be able to work efficiently.
Whether you work in an office or at home, make an effort to declutter your workspace and only keep the essentials at hand. Do you really need all that stationary sitting on your desk or could you put it in a drawer somewhere? Could some your documents be digitalised so the paper versions can be put into storage? Making your workspace feel more organised and less cramped will help you to feel motivated and ready to tackle any challenges. If you work from home and have furniture, files or other belongings that you are not currently using and you want to make more space, consider renting some community storage space. This lets you make use of a space that someone else is currently using, so you can transform your office into a decluttered working paradise!
Add Some Greenery & Personal Touches
You want your workspace to reflect who you are and to be an area where you genuinely want to spend your time. You should have positive, not negative, feelings toward it. Adding some plants and personal touches, such as artwork and photographs, can help transform an otherwise gloomy office environment into a more inviting space.
While too many photographs or decorative features might be distracting, personalising your workspace can help to minimise feelings of stress and anxiety when working on difficult tasks. Research also shows that indoor plants can have a lot of health benefits. They promote healthier air quality and absorb pollutants and this impacts our cognitive function. For this reason, having a few plants, like aloe vera, around your workspace can enhance productivity and memory retention, stimulate creatively and decrease stress levels.
Make Sure You Have The Tools You Need
For your workspace to work for you, you need to have everything you need to work efficiently nearby. Whether this is having two monitors, using particular tech accessories, making sure you have adequate stationary on hand, you should ensure that anything you might need is accessible at all times.
Emma Lewis is a part of the team supporting Spacer, a company helping you find storage space whenever and wherever you need it. Emma is also a passionate supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its many benefits in her writing.