Your work environment can have a huge impact on your performance, and a carefully designed environment can increase your productivity. If you have an office space that isn’t great, don’t despair! It can happen to all of us, from time to time. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to make a difference.
1. Get rid of that clutter!
Begin by looking around and getting rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Ask yourself what items you haven’t used in a while, as you explore one area of your office space at a time. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of why you need it, then take it out! This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, papers, and even those office knick-knacks and decorations. If you have non-essentials items in your office that are constantly covered with dust, your office will look and feel shabby. If you have items that don’t work, send them out for repair or discard them.
2. Let there be light!
Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired. Unfortunately it can also be an item people overlook. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, headaches, eyestrain and overall irritability; dark spaces can actually bring down your mood. If you have no control over the general lighting, bring in your own. Consider using natural light bulbs or even a light therapy device. If you have a choice of office space, and if budget permits, consider those that contain natural sources of light. If not, many of our locations have natural light throughout the common areas to help boost creativity.
3. Is it cold in here?
Many office spaces tend to be on the cold side (around 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit). While comfortable room temperatures can vary greatly from individual to individual, this range is often too cold for people, and that’s not good for productivity. If you have temperature control over your individual office, find the right temperature for you. If you don’t have individual control, bring a sweater or blankets into your work space.
4. Bring on the colors!
The psychology of colors has been studied for decades and it’s clear that the colors in our office spaces can affect our moods, our brain functions, and our ability to be productive. Colors can evoke both a physical and emotional response and deciding the right colors for your work space has the ability to make your days brighter, more creative, and more efficient. Be careful with how much color you use, however. Too much of anything, including color, can quickly become overwhelming and actually make you less productive. Consider shades of blue, which is a commonly used color for improving productivity. If you can’t change the paint, consider blue decorations!
5. Smelling productive!
The overall scents and smells in your office space is another factor that is often overlooked, but as is the case with color, our sense of smell can powerfully affect our mood, our mindset, and our productivity. Consider adding scents into your work space that help to keep your mind into focus. Choices of scents can also be quite subjective, but generally speaking, the following are good choices to consider:
Cinnamon – Improves focus
Citrus – Helps to wake you up or lift your spirits
Pine – Increases alertness
Peppermint – Lifts your mood
Lavender – Helps to relax you during those stressful work days
We want to hear from you! What are your favorite productivity hacks? What makes your office space great, or does it leave much to be desired? Let us know in the comments!