Recently I have become increasingly aware how much the work environment can affect a team’s productivity. It is not surprising that one tends to ‘become’ what he/she beholds long enough. It is as if we are chameleons, reflecting the work environment which is ultimately reflected in the quality of our work.
Your work environment can decrease your productivity levels if you do not recognise its importance. According to a study, the average employee spends 72 percent of working hours actually at their desk, while nearly 50 percent of workers say that they would stay an extra hour at work each day if the environment was attractive.
Here are some simple ideas to boost your workspace productivity:
Light the place up
Lighting has direct effects on our productivity, and on how we work. Dim lighting can make you feel drowsy and should be avoided. The idea is to keep the space properly lit.
Exposure to natural light is especially beneficial to health and productivity of a team cooped up in an office all day. Natural sunlight has been found to decrease depression and improve mood, energy, alertness and productivity.
Sit in a comfortable seat
The drawbacks of a sedentary lifestyle cannot be over emphasised. Humans are wired for work, and in recent years, coupled with the advent of the internet, our definition of work have been moved from being more of a physical concept, to a mental phenomenon. This is good, but it poses a problem – fitness. This is why we have seen an explosion in fitness clubs over recent years.
You spend between eight to 12 hours or more everyday sitting; you either get an ergonomic chair, or take regular breaks to do some exercises. You have to keep moving to remain alive.
Keep it simple.
It was Leonardo da Vinci who said that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Apart from maybe a plant or notes, you really do not need to have others things on your desk, keep food in the fridge, keep all the files in a cabinet, get another table for your printer, put rubbish in a bin, and empty it regularly. You have to keep your workspace simple and uncluttered because the freer the space, the more willingness there is to get things done.
Comfort is paramount.
While people say you have to go out of your comfort zone to succeed, you have to understand that you need a certain level of comfort to get things done. Truth is, sometimes discomfort is the nudging of your instincts, telling you to refrain or make adjustments in the steps you are about to take.
That said, when customers enter your office and experience a warm design and organised space, they develop some respect for you. People generally do business with people they like and trust and not necessarily the most brilliant or capable, and people usually trust people they respect. The furniture, the decoration, air quality, and noise level must be effectively managed to reflect comfort and warmth.