The Essential Elements of an Ideal Workspace

Staying productive and efficient at work is how you meet your goals at the set time and this depends on a lot of factors, including your state of mind, diet, and most importantly, your environment. A study from Elsevier shows that several environmental factors directly or indirectly affect employees’ work performance. A 2017 study also shows how workspace design and environmental features impact productivity.

If you want to maximize your work output, you must consider if you have the ideal workspace to help you be more productive. In this article, we have highlighted some essential elements of an ideal workspace that you should have. 

Lighting

While people focus on making the workplace a happy and safe place to get things done, they often do not realize how much poor lighting can affect productivity. A literature review from as far back as 2002 shows how natural light can be beneficial for the health, productivity, and safety of building occupants. It further shows how it helps reduce stress levels for office workers. Several studies have, over the years, proved the effect of lighting in work productivity. 

Modern-day workers spend more time at the office and according to a research report by UNC Kenan-Flagler, cooler light makes workers more productive and exposure to natural light would yield more benefits, as it helps decrease depression and improve mood, energy, and productivity.

Sound

A productivity study by the British Gypsum in 2015 shows a 50 percent increase in people’s ability to focus and a 30 percent decrease in stress levels with a decreased noise in the workplace. Another study conducted on 259 office workers in Hong Kong showed that sound and temperature were the principal factors affecting office productivity.

To curb sound distraction at your workplace, you can implement the ABCs as suggested by the British Gypsum, which refers to Absorbing, Blocking, and Covering. You can choose to use acoustic ceiling tiles to absorb the sound or use sound reducing partitions, walls, and windows to block the sound. You can also use active noise control, such as music, to cover the office noise and decide the kind of noise you want. 

Furniture

The typical office structure requires 8 hours of work and if you will be at your desk all day, your choice of furniture could have a huge impact on how efficiently and safe you work at your desk. Your workspace must be set up with furniture that allows good posturing and reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI), back pain, or fatigue.

Get quality and comfortable furniture like the ones at Autonomous and ensure you get the ideal desk height. In addition, when choosing a chair, look out for lumbar support, seat depth, chair height, recline ability, and armrests. How adjustable these features are could determine the level of comfort you will get, which will help improve your productivity. 

Smart Arrangements

How you arrange your office goes a long way. You could have proper lighting and the best furniture but with a poor office arrangement, your productivity level might never improve. The impact of office layouts on productivity cannot be overemphasized as research also shows that there is a link between the office layout and the work patterns of office occupiers.

Keep your desk as organized as possible, as it helps you work more effectively. Although this could be based on personal preferences; while some people would prefer a clutter-free desk to work effectively, some others would rather have the clutter there. Whatever works for you is fine but keep it organized, such that you are able to reach out to whatever you need without wasting extra time that could get you distracted from work. Preferably, only keep things you need for your current work on your desk.

You can also have a form of storage set up, such as floating shelves, to reduce the clutter and create more space. File cabinets can also come in handy to keep things together on your desk.

Temperature

The temperature at your workplace can also impact your productivity. A 2018 study at the University of Chicago shows that productivity drops by as much as four percent per degree when temperatures rise above 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) in workplaces requiring manual labor. 

To be more productive at work, try to create a balanced temperature in your workplace that you will feel most comfortable working effectively with. An office can have cooler and warmer areas to accommodate everyone according to their temperature preferences. You could also consider wearing clothes that suit the temperature of the day, so you don’t have to worry about the temperature of the room as you work.

Visual Interest

Design your workspace with something to feed your wandering eye while you work, as it helps improve creativity and could inspire you to work more. A 2017 study from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing shows how four out of five individuals enjoy greater wellbeing if they participate in arts and culture activities. A study by Dr. Craig Knight from the University of Exeter also shows that a workspace with office plants can increase well-being by 47%, increase creativity by 45%, and increase productivity by 38%.

You can have a simple wallpaper, artwork, or paintings on your walls. A bulletin board can also come in handy to pin inspiring photos or quotes that could inspire you as you work.

Bottom Line

Office productivity goes a long way, as it could affect the final output of the company. To get the most of your business or company, a level of productivity must be attained and if these essential elements are implemented properly, there will be a higher level of efficacy at work. 

Beyond these elements, it is also important that office workers learn how to communicate and collaborate with other staff members to get the best results for the company. In addition, you should learn to shake up your routine once in a while to stir your creativity level, as you do more.