Even if a complete redesign just isn’t in the company budget, there are several changes you can make to your office space to make it more productive. The first step to increased productivity is decreased clutter. Whether you need to add cabinets, shelves and storage space or simply throw some things away, clearing clutter is the first step to increased productivity. Once you’ve done that, use these additional design tips to get even more done.
Lighting is one of the most crucial elements of office space. Humans are meant to be awake and productive when the sun is out and sleep at night, which makes a dim office the perfect space for feeling sleepy and procrastinating. According to Stephanie Kratz Interiors, a well-lit office is an office that just works better. Whenever possible, use skylights and windows to introduce as much natural light as you can. Sometimes all you need are more transparent window treatments. When natural light is inaccessible, mimic it with daylight simulating CFL bulbs. Remember to add task lighting at workstations, as well.
Redesign your space with chairs, tables, desks and countertop heights designed to be ergonomic. The more comfortable you are, the longer you can stay still and perform necessary tasks. Ignoring ergonomics can lead to headaches, backaches and other physical pains as well as a need to move away from the work area to exercise the body. When designing a work space, remember that your eyes should be 24 to 36 inches away from your computer screen and that the top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye-level. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor when seated and a chair with a slight recline eliminates back pressure and pain.
If you want to be more productive in the office, pay attention to the subtle details that can have a big impact on mood. Paint the walls of your office in bright colors and add plants to the decor. Keep the temperature between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit and consider air fresheners. The scent of pine is said to boost alertness, cinnamon increases focus and peppermint lifts mood. Though small details, all of these things have been shown to help create an environment that increases productivity.
When arranging your office furniture, consider how furniture placement will encourage or discourage certain behaviors. Tasks that require extreme focus should be placed in areas where traffic and noise disruptions will be kept to a minimum. When collaboration is desired, consider placing chairs and couches in small groups to encourage conversations. Keep tools like printers and copiers close to those who use them most often.
Good office design helps workers feel happier, be more productive, and can even boost creativity. Though your company may not have the budget to make all of these changes, you can incorporate the same ideas and principles into your own design. Make it work for your space, and the space will work for you.