There’s no escaping the fact that if you work full time, you’ll spend a large portion of your day at your desk or in your office. This means it’s essential to do all you can to prime your workspace for productivity and job satisfaction. To help you to do just that, below are a number of ideas—from organizational tips to design advice—that will help you cultivate a productive and motivating work environment.
1. Set up your workspace—the right way.
When it comes to priming your working area for productivity, a better layout could be what’s needed to unlock the door to improved concentration. Start with your computer keyboard and monitor (or laptop). Ensure your keyboard sits about an arm’s length away from you. This will minimize strain on your wrists and shoulders. Then adjust the height of your desk chair, making sure both feet are flat on the ground and your knees are roughly level with your hips. This will encourage your body to naturally sit taller and avoid slouching over your keyboard.
For other equipment, like your phone and stationery, place them within easy reach to prevent straining your muscles. This will ensure your desk setup is streamlined for efficiency. It also goes without saying that you should make the effort to tidy up your desk each day. With fewer distractions surrounding you, you’ll be able to better focus on your work.
2. Combat noise.
Workplace noise can be a real distraction when you’re carrying out tasks that require the utmost concentration. However, there are plenty of ways to overcome this in this modern day and age.
A simple fix is to fade out the background hubbub with noise-canceling headphones—perfect if you don’t have the option to relocate your workspace. With less background noise, you’ll find it far easier to concentrate on the task at hand with minimal impact on your productivity levels.
The other option would be to move yourself away from the source of the noise. Most modern offices now incorporate quiet areas that are designed specifically for those employees who need to knuckle down undisturbed. If you have this option, make use of it as often as you need to, or book some time in one of the meeting rooms if there isn’t a designated ‘quiet corner’ available. This could be just the downtime you need to breeze through grueling tasks and feel more engaged in the office.
3. Personalize your desk.
During a busy work day it can be tough to find the inspiration you need to stay focused and engaged, but a little personalization to your own desk can be an effective trick to have up your sleeve. Of course, it does need to be carried out in a considerate way—after all, you are working in a public place.
The key here is to find an object that will be your pick-me-up and a reminder of your purpose at work throughout the day. This could be a work-related award, company slogan, motivational quote, picture of your family, or photo of your dream house. Whatever you choose, this simple reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing could be just what’s needed to reinvigorate your passion to get you through those tough days—even the CEOs of big firms like Zillow and Evernoteneed a little pick-me-up to get them through their days.
4. Get out of your chair.
Sitting in a chair all day could be a drain on your productivity levels, not to mention your overall health. Luckily, there are some simple ways to get you out of your chair—which will help with your engagement as well as your productivity,
For instance, with inter-office communications, instead of sending an email or picking up the phone, take five minutes to pop over and see the person you want to convey something to. The physical act of taking a break from your desk can help to give you a clearer state of mind. And the face-to-face human interaction will give you and your colleagues a greater sense of engagement with your role and one another.
Similarly, instead of eating your lunch at your desk while trawling through emails, make time to step away from your workspace and eat with other workers in a communal area or even head out for some fresh air. It’s these small, yet significant acts that can all go towards combating the sedentary office lifestyle and instilling a sense of camaraderie amongst your peers, too. Plus, the benefits of even just a little bit of physical activity could lead to increased productivity and alertness, all while reducing stress—making your working environment a far more pleasant place to spend time.
Alex Jones is a content creator for Kendon Packaging, which manufactures and supplies a range of quality cardboard boxes, protective packaging solutions, and more. Now one of Britain's leading packaging companies, Kendon Packaging has been supporting businesses nationwide since the 1930s.
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