The modern office space no longer consists of a row of cubicles. Today, there are more people working remotely than ever, with the number of remote workers exacerbated by COVID-19. Whether you’re a full-time worker in a shared office space or a freelancer with a home office, the overarching goal is to create a work area that allows you to operate at your best. With that in mind, here are seven tips for creating a productive office:
You don’t need to turn your office into a garden to benefit from what they can offer you. Plants bring a breath of fresh air. There are a myriad of reasons why plants are a great addition to your office. Scientific studies have shown that there are productive benefits to keeping your office tied to nature. If you aren’t that great with plants and haven’t been blessed with a “green thumb,” you can bring in plants that require less groundwork and maintenance. Succulents, small cacti, ZZ plants, and pothos.
Think Twice About Light Sources
How you light up your space can change the way you work. Dim lighting adds strain on the eyes, can create headaches, and even experience drowsiness that negatively impacts motivation. Harsh or constant bright lighting doesn’t help either. It’s important to strike a balance here. For starters, do your best to boost the natural lighting in your space. Warmer lights, like yellow and orange, are best for relaxing and calming, while cooler lights, like blue and white, are better for energizing and waking up.
Declutter Your Space
Chances are you have a few things lying around your desk that aren’t conducive to your workday. Cleaning it up can help you make your immediate space more productive and improve your peace of mind. But “decluttering” isn’t the same as cleaning up. Just because you clean up your desk doesn’t necessarily mean you’re decluttering.
Start by analyzing your space and determining exactly what you need and toss things that you rarely use but keep in case you “might need.” Next, improve your space based on your workflow. While you might use your batch of custom pens and pencils regularly, if you don’t use your dictionary everyday, remove it from your office space or put it out of sight. Organize your cables and controls and begin the process of organizing and digitizing your paperwork. Lastly, take a before and after photo so you can see the results yourself!
Bring In Scents
Smell is the most powerful sense we have. Did you know that our sense of smell is so strong that it can influence certain behaviors? And while you might not realize it, smell can make a difference in your office space and boost productivity, too. Peppermint has been linked to energy, sweet orange helps with anxiety, rosemary makes you more alert and improves memory, while lemon arouses the senses and decreases errors. Often, we process our smells in a very subconscious way and aren’t aware of the impact they have on our moods and behavior. Armed with a better understanding, opt for candles, an oil diffuser, incense, or fragrance sticks.
Create an Electronics Corner
Electronics can be a major distraction to your workday. Unfortunately, electronics can throw a wrench into the gears of productivity. The fact is, our smartphones present a double-edged sword; it can help us be more efficient than ever, but can also prevent us from operating at full capacity. As humans, our brains can only focus wholly on one thing at a time. When your phone pings for a message, it creates micro distractions; even if just for a few seconds, these microseconds can throw you off your feet for a small period of time.
Daily interruptions prevent you from giving full concentration to the task at hand. The goal isn’t to stop yourself from using your smartphones and other smart gadgets entirely, but to maintain control over its usage. Create an electronics corner where you can store your smartphone and commit to only checking it during predetermined intervals.
Create a Moodboard
Mood boards are great ways to stay inspired as you go about your day. Go out and get yourself a corkboard and use printouts, magazine cutouts, patches, stickers, and other elements to add to your moodboard. Take a look at moodboards online, via platforms like Pinterest or Google Images. These will offer some inspiration with how to approach your own moodboards.
Assess Your Layout
The layout of your office space will impact your productivity. Your layout not only influences the energy of your workspace but how you work. Move your desk and chair to a space that allows better workflow and is closer to the window for natural light. If you realize that you need more space to accommodate the materials you use regularly, consider investing in a bigger desk, small side drawer, or nice filing cabinet.