Both physical and digital workspaces are important in boosting productivity. When you take the time to rethink and re-engineer your office space, it's amazing how even the smallest tweaks can improve your efficiency and effectiveness at work, as well as your general motivation and mood. The guidelines in this article are going to help you with practical tips for a productive workspace setup.
Your physical workspace setup includes the type of furniture you use and the overall room layout. The digital workspace setup includes using the computer desktop, organizing your documents, and setting up your emails. Find out more about why your setup is important and what you can do about it.
Physical Workspace Setup Tips
It matters how you arrange your office space. You can create a more productive office setup by rearranging your existing furniture and replacing any items that do not help you with your goal. Many office workers struggle with focus, back and neck pain, and general discomfort because they have never thought about ways to improve their current office arrangements.
The tips below range from a minimal expense and effort to invest in better office furniture. Before that, however, find out why ergonomics is so important when you are trying to design an office space for maximum productivity and why you should do away with office clutter once and for all.
1. What Does It Take to Have an Ergonomic Office?
An ergonomic office layout doesn't just happen. It has to be thought out and planned. When you consider which layout can maximize your productivity, you can rearrange your office in this way. Even the little changes like where you position your trash can, and the shared stapler can improve the flow of things.
Besides how each of the items in the office is arranged relative to each other and optimized to match your typical movements and needs on a typical workday, ergonomics also covers the design of each piece of furniture. Standard furniture may be the easiest and cheapest to purchase, but the one-size-fits-all doesn't work that well as far as office chairs are concerned. You need to be able to customize the space and find furniture that matches your height and weight.
When your workspace has poor ergonomics, the negative effects are numerous. Lack of motivation and productivity, sore limbs, and the accumulation of clutter are just some of the possible results.
2. The Problem with Clutter
No matter what permanent changes you make to your office setup, clutter is one of those things that can reduce the impact of your changes. Office clutter can include too much furniture in a confined space, too many files and folders, poor organization, and the like. Clutter is one thing that can lead to a lack of focus, confusion, conflict, stress, and a reduction in your productivity.
The best way to deal with clutter is to deal with it, one pile at a time. If it has taken years to accumulate, it might take more than one day to eliminate it all. Setting a goal to sort through one file, one box, or one drawer a day can make a difference and make the decluttering process more manageable.
Besides decluttering, it is also important to keep your office clean. A clean and clutter-free environment impacts your efficiency, saves you time searching for lost items, boosts your mood and confidence, and gives you a sense of achievement and control. You can find some helpful tips on the best way to clean and sanitize your computer accessories from our blog.
3. Picking the Right Desk
One of the key features of any office is the desk. It takes up a lot of space and is the place where you can sit down to get things down. It’s the place you place your computer as well as other electronics, paperwork, and your telephone.
Picking the office desk might seem like a simple decision. After all, there doesn't seem to be much to it except maybe deciding on the color and material and most importantly, the size. The desk affects the office ergonomics tremendously and, coupled with the chair, forms a combination that can make or break your productivity.
When picking an ergonomic desk, remember to consider how you typically work, how much space you need to layout paperwork and files, or to collaborate. If you have multiple monitors, you might need a bigger desk. A monitor arm could also help you gain flexibility and freedom with how you work and utilize your computer screens. If you are in a particular field, a different desk design besides the traditional rectangular shape could be useful.
For the best workplace ergonomics, consider using a standing desk. These desks have an adjustable height feature that allows you to work while sitting and standing. They are easy to use and maneuver and can help you stand fitter, more focused, and become more productive. There might not be much you can do to change the sedentary nature of your work, but with a standing desk, you can improve your overall work experience with a more productive workspace setup.
4. Picking the Right Chair
Another important element when creating the ideal physical workspace setup is the chair. The best office chairs have adjustable features that allow you to change the height of the chair, among other features. The material that the chair is made of also matters. If you are going to be sitting on a particular chair for hours on end, you want it to be as comfortable as possible.
Switching out an old chair for an ergonomic chair can impact your workday in a great way. You can enjoy greater flexibility and comfort and can say goodbye to the problems of neck, back, and wrist strain. Make sure you also find out what the best height for your chair is in relation to the height of the desk and your height.
Two great ergonomic chairs to consider for your productive office setup are the Ergo Chair 2 and the Kinn Chair. The Ergo Chair 2 is a fully customizable ergonomic office chair. If you have struggled with back pain and poor posture, then this chair is a great addition to your office. It gives great back support. It comes in many colors, including black, cool gray, black and white, red apple, and baby blue. The chair has five caster wheels and adjustable armrests, headrest, seat height, seat tilt, back tilt angle, and tension. It is made of superior materials, can support a weight of 350 lbs, and comes with a 30-day trial and 2-year warranty.
The Kinn Chair features a special fishbone design to improve your sitting posture, back health and give full support. It comes in many back and frame color combinations to match your style preferences. This chair is also highly adjustable for the armrest, back tilt angle and tension, and the seat height. As far as materials, the Kinn Chair comes in two versions—the naked TPE version and the mesh version.
5. Arranging Your Office Accessories
The desk and the chair are the main pieces of furniture in the standard office. Other important items if your goal is organization in the workplace are your accessories. Everything from files to staplers, small electronic devices, and other such items all need a dedicated home. You might need to invest in an additional drawer and cabinet space to fit everything. The most used items must be in closer reach, while items that you only use every so often can be tucked away out of sight.
One important point to note as you rearrange your desk accessories and buy new ones is to remember where everything goes. So much productive work time is lost every day from searching for misplaced items. Consider unique items to avoid this common issue. You can try color-coding, labeling drawers, alphabetization, arrangement by function, or even having an index for all your office accessories. If you make it systematic in this way, it’s going to be easier for the next person and any new person who joins your team as well.
You are now ready to change your physical workspace set up to promote increased levels of output. When you work in a traditional office or share a space with a coworker, you might not have as much control over the big changes suggested in this article. You can, however, change what you can and see great results. If you work from home, you are going to have much more control over how your office looks and what you keep in it. If you need more tips on designing an ergonomic home office design, you can go here.
Digital Workspace Setup Tips
The physical side of things might take a little more time, effort, and expense, but it is just one side of designing a productive workspace setup. Most people ignore the digital workspace setup side or do not give it much time and attention, and this is the cause of many of the limitations workers face when they are trying to get more done and stay motivated at work.
There is so much you can do with your digital workspace setup, and many of these changes don’t take much time or effort. What matters most is creating systems that work and developing new habits as far as how you use your time on the computer and the internet.
1. 3 Important Things when Setup Digital Workspace
Here are some great ways to improve your digital workspace:
- Manage your documents and folders: No matter what field you are in, you probably deal with quite a lot of files and documents on a daily basis. In some fields, this could be hundreds, if not more. One way to create a productive office setup on the digital side of things is to create a system for how you handle all the files you use and receive. Decide where you are going to store which types of documents, how you are going to name them, and create folders that are easy to find and remember.
- Manage your emails and messages: Receiving many messages and emails is important for workplace communication, but it can also affect your ability to focus and get things done. If your role does not include customer service or having to be accessible all the time, consider limiting how often you check emails and messages. You can schedule periodic blocks of time to do this. You might also want to adjust the notification settings on your various communication platforms, including social media.
- Manage your passwords: A productive workspace setup is one where you spend more time doing your most important tasks and less time with distractions and getting sidetracked. One common time stealer in the digital side of things is lost passwords. How often do you have to go through the lengthy process of resetting your password simply because you could not remember what it was? Create a way to store and remember your passwords, but remember to keep them safe and inaccessible to other people.
2. Why You Should Have a Periodic Digital Declutter
It’s great to get organized and create a better digital workspace setup, but even with the right systems in place, clutter can accumulate. Digital clutter includes spam emails, email newsletters you subscribed to but never read, cluttered computer desktops, and more files saved on your computer than is good for the computer memory.
Scheduling a periodic digital declutter is a great habit to develop in the pursuit of greater organization in the workplace. During this time, you could decide to delete, rearrange, and back up files for 30 minutes once a month. Make it simple, achievable, and systematic, and the long-term impact could be beyond your imagination.
If you want to get started with a more productive workspace setup, just remember to start small, with what you have, and with the time you have. Every step in the right direction counts, no matter how small. Make organization in the workplace one of your goals this year.
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