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Whether you work at home or in a corporate setting, the design of your office matters. It determines your ability to do good work.
Yet, studies show the physical environment is the most important factor to consider. A well-designed office can increase productivity by 20%.
If you want to improve focus and productivity put the following office design tips on your to-do list. Keep reading to learn how small changes produce a big impact.
Add Light to Your Workplace
Poor lighting leads to eye strain, headaches, and stress. It causes mental and physical fatigue.
Proper lighting helps people to stay focused and engaged. One of the easiest ways to increase productivity is to upgrade the lighting in your office.
If possible, open doors and windows to let in natural light. If not, consider using light bulbs or devices that mimic sunlight.
Add a variety of lamps to brighten any dark areas. Install indirect lighting for brightness that won’t cause eye strain.
Update the Office Color Scheme
Color creates a physical and emotional response. The right colors boost mood and brain function.
Blues and greens found in nature improve efficiency and focus. Use these colors for a sense of well-being and productivity.
An intense color like Red increases heart rate and blood flow. It inspires passion and alarm. Think fire trucks and Valentines. Use red to draw attention to something.
Cheerful yellow tones evoke optimism and energy. Use bright tones to encourage innovation and creativity.
Paint one or two accent walls. Consider providing a variety of color environments for different activities
If you can’t paint the walls, accessorize with color. Hang artwork or replace chairs in specific colors.
Control the Noise
The sound levels in your office depend on the type of office, company culture, and work you do. Excessive noise causes stress and lower productivity.
Some people work well with background noise. If you enjoy music or white noise while you work, use headphones so you don’t disturb coworkers.
Many people prefer quiet at work. If noise is a problem, try sound canceling headphones. Some companies offer quiet workspaces for deep concentration. Ask your employer to make a quiet zone.
Consider a sound-masking system if unwanted noise annoys the entire office. Sound-masking systems add background sound to reduce distractions.
Create an Ergonomic Workspace
Take a few minutes to check if your workspace is ergonomic. Ergonomics increases efficiency by reducing discomfort.
It’s vital your work area is comfortable since you spend a lot of time there. Check the following:
- Place the top of your computer screen at or below eye level. Position your eyes 2 to 3 feet away from the screen.
- Recline a bit in your chair to reduce pressure on your spine.
- Put your feet on the floor or a footrest.
Get an adjustable chair, or use a seat cushion for proper height. Many companies provide risers for adjusting the height of your computer screen.
A comfortable workspace helps employees stay focused.
The battle over office temperature is common. Some like it hot while others like cooler temps. Most companies compromise by setting the thermostat between 65 to 68 degrees.
Employee comfort is the key to productivity. When employees are comfortable they focus on their work, not the temperature.
In large offices, talk to the HVAC pros about adjustments. Can you close or divert vents to change air flow?
Use sweaters, fans, and space heaters to regulate your workspace.
Improve Air Quality
Good air is essential for clear thinking. Poor air quality leads to inefficiency and sick days. OSHA found bad air quality cost employers $15 billion in lost productivity each year.
You can improve indoor air quality with air filters. Open doors and windows for fresh air each day.
Get a personal air filter for your desk or office. Add plants to the office to help filter the air and generate oxygen.
Add Variety to Your Work Space
If possible, work in more than one place. Variety helps your brain shift and stay focused.
Many corporate offices offer different work environments. Besides a personal desk, employees can work in:
- Common Areas
- Breakout Room
- Conference Room
- Outdoor Space
If you work from home, mix things up by moving from one room to another. If your space is small, add variety by rearranging photos and accessories. Work at the library, a park or cafe a couple of times a week.
A change of scenery often triggers creativity. Working in one place can lead to mental blocks. Encourage employees to move around to increase productivity.
Visit Maris Interiors to find out more about adding variety to your office.
Feed Your Brain
Our brains need nourishment to stay focused while working. The good news is hunger is a distraction that’s easy to fix.
Most companies provide coffee, water, and tea to employees. Some even use a snack delivery for the office. Designing a kitchen area that includes workspace is ideal. It provides a casual place for employees to meet and brainstorm ideas.
Schedule snacks into your day. Take advantage of the company cafe or bring your own food. Choose nutritious snacks like yogurt, fruit, and nuts.
Bring Nature Inside
People need nature. We’re connected and affected by access to the natural world.
The best case scenario is office space with lots of windows. If you don’t have windows or outdoor workspace bring nature inside.
Photographs, screensavers, and plants put nature in your office. Take a walk at lunch. Stroll around the building between tasks.
A few minutes in the sunshine and fresh air boosts productivity. It can improve your mood and help you refocus.
Don’t underestimate the power of nature. Studies show live plants increase productivity and happiness.
Use These Office Design Tips to Increase Productivity
Often, an office environment is the key to productivity. If you don’t feel productive, try one or more of these office design tips.
These techniques increase employee engagement. Happy employees are more efficient and focused. An office designed to increase productivity is a winning situation for everyone.
Check out our business section for more ideas on how to improve your business.