Whether you’re working in a crowded office or from the comfort of your home, it’s important to have a workspace that motivates and inspires you. This may seem irrelevant, but spending 40+ hours a week in a space that drives you crazy will only reduce your productivity and breed negative emotions. A well-organized and optimized workspace will create a positive and creative environment, not to mention that it will convey those positive vibes to your co-workers and customers, too. To help you achieve that goal, here are some tips for creating the ultimate workspace.
Modern technology may be very handy, but there’s no denying it is also very distracting. Constantly looking at your phone or tablet will stifle your productivity, so consider putting them on silent if you don’t need them for work. And as difficult as it may seem, try to stay off social networks. Reading your friends’ status updates and laughing at funny tweets is undoubtedly relaxing, but it’s not going to help you focus on finishing that report, is it? Noise is also a big contributor to workplace distractions (and can sometimes even lead to health problems), but in most offices, it is difficult to avoid, even if it’s just phones ringing and people delivering mail.
People who work from home are no less affected by noise, especially if they have children. Luckily, the solution is quite simple – get a pair of quality headphones so you can drown out the annoying sounds with music of your choice, or even with just white noise. And last, but definitely not least, keep your workspace free of food leftovers and regularly empty your wastebasket to prevent bad smells from forming.
Make yourself comfortable
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your workspace, so it’s crucial that you are comfortable in it. If you are sitting in front of a computer all day, it’s important to know how to sit properly so you avoid bad posture and potential back pain. While you shouldn’t attempt to keep your back completely straight, you also shouldn’t let yourself sink lower and lower into your chair. It’s a well-known fact that taking regular desk breaks to stand up and stretch are beneficial to your health, which is why standing desks are becoming more and more popular. However, standing up for 8 hours a day is not exactly a great alternative, so your best option is to find a good electric height adjustable desk so that you can alternate between sitting down and standing up at your convenience.
Lighting is another important factor that often gets overlooked. Natural light should be prioritized whenever possible, but in cases where that isn’t an option, don’t rely on overhead fluorescent lighting alone. A high-quality desk lamp will do wonders for your eyesight. Oh, and don’t forget the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, stare at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds to avoid eye fatigue.
Always stay organized
Anyone who has ever spent too much time going through piles of junk on their desk looking for that one important piece of paper only to find it has fallen behind the desk knows that having a cluttered workspace is a massive inconvenience. Luckily, it’s easily avoidable. The general rule of thumb is to only ever have in front of you what you need for your current task, no more and no less. Before starting any task, you should prepare everything you will need for that task and place it within reach. Any extra time spent on this step ensures you won’t have to leave your desk in the middle of working to get something you forgot.
When the task is completed, everything related to it should be removed from your desk so that the space is freed up for the next one. But don’t just shove things in a drawer because that also creates clutter. Instead, store or file everything in an organized manner, away from your desk so that it doesn’t take up space but can still be easily found if necessary. This applies to your computer desktop as well – organize different tasks, assignments, and projects into clearly marked folders. Additionally, there’s nothing worse than having to retype a 100+ page report because the original was lost in a computer crash, so make sure to regularly back up important files on a flash drive.