By Chloe Smith
Whether you’re working from home or sharing an office with others in a large office or co-working space, how you manage and design your working space will have dramatic effects on your productivity. There’s no need to make work harder and more stressful by putting up with an inefficient work environment.
This article will walk you through some of the basic steps you can take to make your working life easier, ranging from making lists, carefully and strategically planning your workspace, to creature comforts. The aim is to help give you a foundation to work on improving your office design.
Lists are an invaluable tool when creating your new intelligent office design. Please note that we specifically mention lists and not one list. That’s because you’re going to have to make several lists to better come to grips with what your new intelligent office needs. Below are a few of the lists we recommend you make immediately.
This list should includes all of the items that you absolutely need to be productive in the office. These are items, that without, you cannot complete work and are entirely unproductive. Typical items for the modern office here include a laptop, phone, internet access, etc.
Here list all the items that make your work easier. The absence of these items from your office doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not going to be productive. They make your work tasks easier to complete, but do not warrant the same importance in your productivity like the above essentials. Typical items here are items like scanners, coffee, air conditioning, soothing music, etc.
This list encompasses all the items you feel prevent you from completing work in a timely manner. Specifically, objects or situations that you feel can be avoided to mitigated to improve your productivity. Items usually listed here are flashing lights, loud noises, nosy coworkers, etc.
Remember these lists can be broken down even further into specific groups within a list. For example, your Essentials list may be broken down into two separate lists within the Essentials list if your work frequently requires you leave the office and work remotely.
Location, Location, Location
Now that you’ve compiled your lists and you have a better understanding of what you require to be productive in a given environment, it’s time to change your work environment to reflect that prioritization.
Make sure that any essentials are within easy and convenient reach of where you work. For example, if your work requires that you scan documents regularly for clients, then put the scanner within easy reach of where you sit while you work and avoid placing it near any distractions. Keeping your essentials close and handy will keep you working rather than wasting time getting to them.
If you frequently work remotely, keep a bag packed with everything you’ll need, ready to go. For example, if you leave the office frequently to consult on site, consider keeping a second set of essentials packed in a bag which are ready to go at a moments notice. With the rise of cloud storage and even just using email, it should be possible to even have a second laptop (for instance) of which the entire purpose is to live in your remote work bag. Less time spent packing means more time working. After placing essentials, place conveniences and finally remove as many distractions on your list as possible.
People are spending more time than ever before sitting at desks and it’s widely known that the effects of sitting at a desk for long periods are not entirely positive on the human body. With maladies ranging from back pain, eye strain, and muscle strain, it’s more important than ever that we look after our bodies by making them as comfortable as possible in the workspace. After all, you can’t think clearly if you’re dealing with pain brought about by the terrible posture your inadequate office chair forces you into.
Experts recommend making sure to take regular breaks to stretch your legs and relieve any potential discomforts brewing in your body. Additionally, you should make sure that your office is built around you and works around you rather than being forced to work around your body. For instance, working at a cramped desk where you have to strain to see your screen clearly and work is not conducive to productivity. Other factors to consider in creating your comfortable working environment are the ambient temperature, humidity, and noise levels.
There we have it, a few basic, simple, and important items to consider when creating a new and intelligent office space. Essentially, prioritize what makes you productive in your working environment and make sure that it’s as easy as possible to do your work by systematically making it simple to do work, and remove the distractions around you. Finally, make sure that you stay healthy while you work by making the work environment suit you.