Where You Work Has An Enormous Impact On How You Work
The impact of the environment on productivity has been receiving much attention recently. In particular, studies have shown that the most significant factor that affects a worker’s ability to focus is their physical environment. A well-designed office can increase productivity by a whopping 20%.
However, despite these statistics, many employers do not consider the design of the workplace a good business investment. This lack of attention has led to poor working conditions that impede the productivity of workers. But what can the average employee do?
Here are 15 factors that can affect productivity and how you can change them to help increase focus, promote creativity, and improve productivity in the workplace.
Do not underestimate the power of lighting. Poor lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. In fact, research has shown that a lack of exposure to natural light is one of the primary factors contributing to poor sleep quality, which can lead to decreased productivity.
If you work in a company office, you probably have no control over the general lighting, but you can bring in your own source of lighting, such as natural light bulbs, or a light therapy device.
If you work from home, open the windows and let in natural light. Also, use lamps in different areas of the room to brighten it up on cloudy days or when it is dark.
Chair and Table
Having a poorly fitted table and chair can lead to discomfort and pain in the body, leading to reduced productivity. In today’s work environment where a lot of people sit for most of their day, it is crucial that the chair and table fit the body correctly.
If the monitor is set up correctly, it should be at eye-level, about 24 to 36 inches away from the eyes. Feet should either be resting on a footrest or on the floor. It is best to maintain a slightly reclined posture to reduce pressure on the spine and minimize lower back pain.
If you work in a company office, ask for an adjustable chair, and add pillows for your lower back or bum if necessary. Many companies provide risers for computers that allow you to adjust the height of your computer screen, and a separate keyboard to keep your hands and wrists in the ideal position.
If you work from home, try to invest in a decent chair. If the table is too high, add pillows to your chair to reach the table comfortably. If it is too low, consider buying leg risers, and use books to raise the screen. Also, use a separate keyboard.
A cluttered workspace may help the creative mind create, but it can also be a hindrance to focus and productivity.
If you work in a company office, take ten minutes each day, either early in the morning or late in the evening, to put things away, file, and organize things around you so that they are out of sight. This way, you are not distracted by them later.
If you work from a home office, you may need to hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean of clutter. If that is expensive, you can set a specific day and time to clean your house, do daily pickups around the house, and spend at least ten minutes each day making sure your office is organized and tidy.
Colors have an effect on our moods and brain function. It can evoke both physical and emotional reactions. Using the right colors in your workspace can help affect your productivity positively. For example, blue has been said to elicit productivity.
If you work in a company office, get things from home that are of a specific color that inspires you, such as postcards, magazine cutouts, or even blocks of different colors.
If you work from a home office, you have more control over the colors around you. Consider repainting a wall, adding color to your workspace table, or hanging pictures that are dominated by a specific color.
Most companies keep their temperatures between 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit, but this may not be suitable for productivity. Research has shown that warmer temperatures make people more productive.
If you work in a company office, bring a space heater, sweaters, or blankets to keep you warm and comfortable.
If you work from a home office, open the windows or adjust the heat or AC so that you are comfortable. Wear pile on sweaters in the winter or add a space heater to your feet.
Like the color of the space, we work in; our sense of smell can also affect our mood, mindset, and productivity.
Try using scents such as pine, cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, and citrus to enhance your focus and lift your spirits.
If you work in a company office, keep the scent subtle, such as essential oils in your drawer or bag. If you need a boost, put a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton ball.
In your home office, use candles, incense, or essential oils. You can also simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.
The noise level in a room can vary depending on the size of the team you work with, the office design, and the company culture. However, noise around you can affect your ability to stay focused. It can be distracting and even raise the stress levels in the workplace, making it hard to sustain productivity.
If you work in a company office, bring noise cancelling headphones and use music services like Spotify or Songza to play concentration boosting sounds like white noise. Find out if your office has quiet workspaces where you can work uninterrupted.
If you work from a home office, complete quiet can be disconcerting. You can use services such as Coffivity, which mimics the noise of a coffee shop, to help improve your concentration.
Poor air quality can affect your ability to focus and think clearly. OSHA estimates that poor air quality costs employers $15 billion annually due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.
If you work in a company office, talk to them about installing air filters. If possible, arrange to have windows and doors opened for at least a portion of the day. Get a personal air filter for your desk or nearby.
At home, open windows and doors to let in fresh air. Install an air filter or get a portable one to keep near your desk. You can also get plants to help filter the air and provide clean oxygen.
As seen from the factors above, the environment in which you work can significantly affect your productivity. If you feel that your working conditions impede your productivity, use these tips to optimize your workplace. These simple adjustments and changes can make a huge impact on productivity, focus and overall well-being.