Getting the most highest quality work done in as little time as possible is a common professional goal, and the space where you work has more influence over how productive you are than you might realize.
Here are a few office design ideas to maximize productivity.
1. Brighten up the lights
Want to be more productive while you are hard at work? Choose good lighting. Dim lights don’t do anyone any good as far as productivity goes.
Whether it’s natural light from a window or two or a ceiling light with some lamps, bright lights (but not too bright!) are one essential when you’re putting together or rearranging your office space.
2. Work in a room with windows, but face away from them
Both natural lighting and the occasional dose of fresh air might be exactly what you need to keep yourself in a good mood and keep yourself focused on whatever tasks you’re trying to accomplish.
Speaking of staying focused, though … you might want to arrange your furniture so you are facing away from the windows instead of toward them. Knowing they’re there is helpful, but you don’t want to find yourself gazing off into the trees when you should be answering emails.
3. Give yourself a lot of space
No one likes feeling cramped, especially not when they are trying to get work done. It’s the kind of environment that will hinder much more than help your work.
If you can, work in a spacious room stationed at a large desk. More space allows you to feel as though you are in more control of your surroundings and makes it so you can pace the length of the room during a phone call for example, if need be, if that helps you concentrate.
4. Keep things organized
Rummaging around in desk drawers and file folders is probably where you end up wasting most of your time while trying to work. Wasted time is as unproductive as you can possibly get.
Make it so you know where everything is and that everything has a place. Don’t keep too many folders in your work space at one time and don’t just shove things in a drawer thinking you will remember where you put them (you won’t).
5. Sit in a comfortable chair
Comfort leads to satisfaction, which leads to better moods, which ultimately, in the long-term, leads to better productivity. What you’re sitting on matters much more than you might think.
Sit in a chair that’s comfortable and that can be adjusted to the appropriate height that you can do your work comfortably without ruining your posture. If you are physically uncomfortable, your productivity will plummet.
6. Keep clutter out of sight
After awhile, things probably start piling up on your desk. This makes it harder to concentrate, and also makes it a lot harder to find things quickly if you need to grab something in a hurry. Clutter is one of many factors that will completely throw off your ability to be productive, but cleaning up your desk can help turn things around.
Only keep on top of your desk what you absolutely need, and maybe a few decorations for show that you don’t actually need to interact with. Don’t keep items in sight that will easily distract you.
7. Make it warm in there
Cold environments make it much harder to get things done. They make it hard to concentrate and don’t make those forced to work in chilly conditions very happy, either. Working in a cool or cold room has the potential to literally freeze your productivity, but there’s a pretty simple and effective way to thaw it out: warm it up.
Keeping your work space warm won’t just make you more productive: it will make you happier as well, meaning you will better be able to manage stress and juggle various tasks. If you can’t control the temperature, throw on a sweater. Grab some slippers if you’re working from home.
8. Keep pen and paper nearby
Have you ever been in the middle of an important task and suddenly had to stop because a really great idea came to mind right in the middle of it? This happens a lot, and it completely derails our train of thought, especially when we’re trying to concentrate on something else.
Keeping a pen and paper within reach will give you a place to jot down random ideas as they come, which is a great way to get them out of your head until you have the time to focus your attention on them later. Not to mention it’s good to have a place to leave yourself notes and reminders as you work, just in case.
9. Buy a plant
Plants aren’t just for people with green thumbs. Having a small potted plant in your work space, as long as you remember to water it, isn’t a bad idea if you’re hoping to be able to get more work done in the long run.
It turns out keeping a plant nearby can actually make you happier, improving your mood and reducing your stress and anxiety levels. Plus it livens up your work space a little, especially if you’re stuck with white walls and nothing to put on them.
10. Keep what you need nearby, but just out of reach
Taking breaks is important, but when you need something, such as a snack or something to drink, getting up and moving away from your work space frequently can severely hinder your productivity.
Instead, keep what you might need throughout the morning or afternoon close by, such as a water bottle or a few mess-free snacks. Keep them just out of reach, so you’re not too tempted to grab for them when you are in the middle of something important, but minimize the time you spend walking back and forth.
Turn on the lights. Grab a chair; have a seat and get to work. With as few distractions as possible and the optimal necessities for a productive work space, you’ll be able to accomplish more than you ever have before.