Your work environment can significantly affect productivity, motivation, and general well-being. You should be satisfied with your input, not suffer from burnout, and, at the same time, look forward to another productive day.
As you pay more attention to the work environment, efficiency, good health, and productivity should be your top concerns. Fortunately, there are simple ways to improve your space to increase your work output and your overall sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
When’s the last time you did a thorough office cleaning? Get rid of the old junk that collects on shelves, in drawers, on the desk, and under your feet. When done, organize what’s left, put things where they belong, and make items easy to find when you need them.
Cleaning up also involves daily activities such as throwing out old documents, properly disposing of food containers, and making sure that the trashcan is emptied regularly. Go for a professional cleaner when you’re too busy to give the exercise the attention it deserves.
Liven Up the Place
Plants, a pet, or a fish tank (or all three) can liven up the place and bring some joy to your life. If you’re not afraid of getting grimy at times, you could try your hand at planting a herb garden or even growing vegetables outside the office. The exercise helps you to unwind while also teaching you to be self-sufficient.
If you love reptiles, try an online live reptile store for various friendly and easy-to-manage pets you can have in your workspace.
Keep It Tidy
When you leave for a break or head home at night, put everything back in its place. Even if you don’t finish a task before taking a break, make sure your space is tidy. It’s an eyesore to walk into a mess, and it paints a negative picture, sometimes affecting business growth.
Not to mention that if you’re doing an important task, you’re likely to forget all about it as you start looking for that piece of paper again. As you tidy up the space, remember to organize your tools. You won’t misplace items as much as you would if they were lying around willy-nilly.
Organize Your Tasks
First, make sure your stationery is well organized and items readily available when you need them. If you have to stop a task for another, it should be easy to pick up again without having to look for that elusive pen or piece of paper.
Also, organize what’s on your desk in terms of priority and necessity. If an item is not critical to the task at hand, it shouldn’t be there. Not only will this help you maintain focus, but you’ll also achieve your goal faster.
Proper lighting can enhance any workplace or living space, but it’s something many fail to think about until they notice how dark the room is. Most people rely on natural lighting, so if you can’t open the windows, consider putting up a frosted/shaded window pane in front of the glass to prevent glare and brighten up your space. If there isn’t enough light coming through your window(s), invest in an artificial lighting system.
Stimulate Your Senses
Be sure to keep your ears happy with some nice, soothing sounds. The right songs can keep you motivated and help the hours fly by. Choose music that isn’t distracting or irritating. You wouldn’t want to create distractions while working. However, the noise level varies from person to person, so you might want to experiment with some songs first before permanently committing to a particular playlist.
If you’re more of a visual person, try having pictures of loved ones around the office or play some pleasant images on the screen. You could even use this as inspiration for an art project if you are creatively inclined.
Another consideration is your olfactory senses. You might want to keep a lovely-smelling candle nearby or spritz some air freshener if the stench of sweat, coffee, and food lingers in the air.
Think of Brightening Up the Walls
Something as simple as a bit of paint could also liven up the place. Just be sure to choose a color that gives off a positive vibe and doesn’t make you feel tired or distracted. The paint choice also depends on how much work you’ll be doing in the room and what type of furniture or fixtures surround it. Choose colors that boost creativity, like green, for instance.
If your room is too big or you don’t like bold hues, try adding bright wallpaper or wall decals. This way, you’ll be able to choose the patterns and colors that suit the specific needs of your work environment.
Have All the Work Tools You Need
Probably it all starts by investing in a computer that works well. If your machine is ailing, you’ll have a hard time completing tasks efficiently. You’re more likely to leave work undone or miss deadlines.
Also, ensure you have all the essential tools for work you need within easy reach. Once again, this reduces time wastage when you have to look for a pen as the deadline approaches.
Your work chair and table should also be comfortable enough to prevent back problems. You don’t want to take work home just because you’re too uncomfortable sitting in the same position for long periods.
Have Water and Snacks on Stand By
Part of maintaining productivity is to ensure you’re always hydrated and nourished. If you’re thirsty, it’s hard to concentrate on the task at hand. Keep a water dispenser or carry a bottle wherever you go.
Snacks are also crucial for the working day because sometimes you don’t have time to take breaks when you feel hungry. Having a healthy snack will prevent unnecessary hunger pangs and help you concentrate on the tasks ahead.
Keep Healthy Work Relationships
Your work environment also consists of the people you regularly interact with. Cultivate healthy relationships with your colleagues. This way, you won’t have to deal with distractions or awkward situations. Meet deadlines, be helpful, and remember to be respectful of everyone’s time and efforts.
Ensure that everyone in the office is courteous of one another’s feelings and personality types. Some people work better when they’re by themselves, while others work better in groups. There are introverts and extroverts; there are the quiet ones and the loudest. Being considerate is not only great karma but also makes coming to work much more pleasant.
Keep Optimal Temperature Levels
The temperature levels in your work environment matter. When it’s too hot or cold, you’ll have a difficult time completing tasks. Have a thermometer in the room to monitor the humidity and temperature levels.
If it’s too warm, invest in a small air conditioner. If it gets a little chilly, consider a space heater. Other ways of controlling the climate include turning on some fans during warmer months or using thicker curtains when it gets colder. Layered clothing can also be helpful.
Use a Work Calendar All The Time
To boost your productivity and efficiency, invest in a work calendar. Put all your tasks for the day on it and color-code your priorities. This way, you’ll be able to see what’s most important at a glance instead of having to wade through papers or clutter to find that file you need.
It is also vital that you update your calendar according to actual time spent on specific tasks. As you will notice, it’s easy to overestimate the time spent on assignments, leading to some problems down the line.
Mute all Applications
Your phone calls, text messages, emails, WhatsApp, and Facebook notifications can wait until work hours are over. Invest in an application to automatically mute these distractions during working hours so that you can concentrate on the day’s schedule.
You’ll be able to focus on the task at hand and get things done much more efficiently. Additionally, this works as a great way to reward yourself after completing your work-related tasks for the day.
Create an Avenue for Relaxation and Unwinding
Your office space shouldn’t be all work and no playtime. In addition to a designated workspace, you should consider creating a relaxation and unwinding area where you can engage in activities that take your mind off of things.
For example, invest in a massage chair or a mini basketball hoop for the office. You could also create a small garden on your desk or an herb garden to keep your mind healthy and stress-free.
When you’re constantly fighting deadlines, try changing up your routine once in a while. The effort isn’t just good for improving productivity, but it is also healthy for your mind and body. Take more breaks so that you can recharge and relax before diving back into work.
Create “No Meeting” Days
The easiest way to enhance your productivity is to avoid unnecessary meetings. Meetings can be a great learning experience, and they serve their purpose. Still, it would help if you considered taking an occasional no meeting day where you don’t schedule any appointments or gather with co-workers in a conference room. Doing so will allow you to catch up on other work or even take care of personal errands.
In conclusion, you need to carefully plan your workday and think of ways to reduce distractions and create time to unwind at the end of the day. These simple steps will help improve your productivity as you aim to create a positive work environment.