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Handy Hints Blog

4 ways to make your workspace more productive

  • 10 Jun 2015

We all strive to be more productive, the reasons vary greatly depending on your position in the workplace and how much you love your work. For some it's to drive the business forward, achieve more and increase profits; for others, it's just to get the most work done in the least amount of time so they can clock off and start enjoying life. Whichever reason drives your productivity, working in a space that encourages concentration, focus and creativity can help you and those around you achieve more each day.

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Clear or cluttered

The jury is out on the 'clear or cluttered' argument. Depending on what you read some preach that a clear, neat workspace will result in an organised, methodical and distraction-free work day. Others advocate an enriched work experience with creativity blooming from the chaos of a mess. The overall opinion seems to be, find out what works for the individual employee and give them an area to keep how they see fit.

Do we all need the cone of silence?

If you can hear the guy three desks down talking on the phone to his mates about the footy or if you get the gossip from the office kitchen at morning tea each day, whether you like it or not, the noise in your work environment could be affecting your productivity. Overjoyed as you may be at the Maroons win on the weekend it's not helping meet that looming project deadline.

Clearly, an office without noise is an impossible ask, even with the use of email, text and Facebook, we still need to communicate verbally sometimes. Providing a barrier or office partition between desks, offices or workstations can minimise day to day noise distractions. A partition, even partial, not only reflects sound but also affords a divider between personal work area's.

More solar, less surgery

Humans are hard-wired to react to the sun. We wake up with it, warm ourselves with it and stay healthy by sourcing an essential vitamin from it. Sunlight can also help make our work environment more effective. Positioning your desk or workstation so it gets daylight or is even in view of a window can greatly assist with alertness towards the end of the day, it can even help improve sleep quality so you come to work rested and ready to go.

Of course, it's not always practical to knock out a window next to every desk so designing the artificial lighting in the office at the right level is essential. Once it was thought that bright fluorescent lighting was the best thing since sliced bread in any work environment however recent studies suggest that there are definite benefits from using desk lamps. Lamps can be adjusted easily, fitted with variable bulb strengths and positioned just about anywhere you need them.

Just remember that unless your work requires ultra bright task lighting, the kind that would be useful in surgery, easing off on the wattage can prevent eye strain towards the end of the day.

Free to express

The ideas above all have one thing in common, they give each employee control over their own space. Providing an area for each person to customise their own work environment, even just a small amount allows for the design of the most individually productive space. Personalising your work area can also assist with a sense of belonging, nobody likes feeling like just another cog in the great business machine.

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