Doesn’t matter if you work at home, in an office or standing at a workbench, where you work is as important as how you work. The decoration and way your workspace is designed makes a huge difference to the quantity and quality of the work you’re doing.
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This extends to the surrounding environment as well, since all that surrounds you in some way or another affects the work you’re doing. Modern science wouldn’t be living up to its reputation if it hadn’t done some research into this, so here’s some of the more practical highlights of what it’s come up with.
Keep it clean! A disorganized workspace is a sign of a disorganized mind; it’s hard to gather your thoughts if all around you is chaos. More practically, it’s also annoying, stressful and time-consuming if you need to find that one particular thing when it has been buried under files, dossiers, tools and old lunch boxes.
You’ll find that work will go quicker and more smoothly if you’re working on a clean surface, so set aside time every day at either the start or the end of work to clean up. As a bonus, your co-workers will like you more when they no longer have to look at that mountain of unfinished business that is your desk.
Humans are diurnal creatures, and even the most rugged of night owls will eventually feel the ill effects of not being exposed to enough daylight, so it’s important for each of us to have a workplace that is lit well. Even if the light is just coming through the windows of an office building rather than a warming ray of sunlight, we need light to thrive.
Add to that that it is simply more pleasant, not to mention easy on the eyes, to work if you can see what you’re doing clearly and the benefit of large windows with open blinds is obvious. In some environments, this won’t be possible for any number of reasons, so try using natural light bulbs as a substitute instead.
3. Room Color
In extension of this is the color of your environment. No matter how much light is pouring in through the windows, if all that it lights up is dark in color, the room will seem dark and musty regardless.
In a commercial office, you won’t always have control over this, but whenever possible try to surround yourself with shades of white and pastels to keep your area bright and cheery. Colors can influence moods, so try to have something near you in a color that cheers you up as a way to take a quick breather.
4. Air Quality
Speaking of breathers, now we have the blinds open to let the light in, why not open the windows as well and let some air in? A surprisingly large number of buildings suffer from sick building syndrome, affecting the health and temperament of the people inside.
Try to have fresh air coming into your workplace to boost wakefulness and productivity, as well as relieving the sinuses and warding off colds and inflammations. If it’s not possible to open the windows, consider having air purifiers installed instead, as these achieve the same effect albeit at a higher cost.
Probably the most annoying distraction in the workplace, noise pollution can disrupt people from their work or drive them crazy with frustration. The best solution is to invest in some noise-canceling headphones; good ones are generally not cheap but the relief they bring is well worth the cost.
Other options are simply blasting music that keeps you focused over your headphones (classical composers like Mozart and Tchaikovsky are favorites), or listening to some kind of white noise, the Internet abounds with apps that pipe café sounds or even just static over the Web.
Implementing these tips into your working environment will boost your productivity with little-to-no effort, so try them out and find yourself surprised at the difference these tiny changes will make.