Have you ever caught yourself staring at your computer knowing you have a long to-do list? The mundane environment you find yourself in definitely isn’t helping you focus and get everything done. No amount of coffee is kicking in and you just feel like putting things off for the next day. If you’ve felt like this before, don’t fret. There’s many others like you who have experienced this. Increased productivity is a challenge that many office spaces are facing, especially with nearly 37 percent of the American workforce switching to remote, stay-at-home work. How could you design and improve the office environment to help feel as productive as when you’re home, if not better? It’s easy! Continue reading below and you’ll find out some amazing tweaks to help your office space out!
Make Breaks A Priority
Taking breaks may sound like it’s more counter-productive than productive. However, studies find that after an hour of focus, your brain cannot continue treating the task with the same level of importance. Not only does this mean that your productivity has subconsciously decreased, but it also means that work quality has decreased. Ideally, you should break once every hour. This may be difficult or nearly impossible for some, but keep in mind you should break whenever you exceed 1 hour of focus.
Enhance Office Environment
Fresh air, cool temperatures, music, and sunlight. What do all of these things have in common? They all cause a natural reaction of relaxation within us! Small tweaks to your office environment can lead to dramatic effects on productivity. Here are a few examples of things you can do to enhance your office environment for optimal productivity:
- Sound – It’s important to realize that for some, silence is bliss. However, for most, they prefer silence once the work day is over and they’re in their homes. Most people prefer to be listening to music as they work. By doing so, the music help us work faster and more efficiently by creating a more positive/relaxed environment. If you’re interested in reading more about the effects of music in an office environment, click on this Study.
- Light – Sunlight is one of our main sources of Vitamin D. Not only is it beneficial to our health, but it also increases productivity. If your office is too dark and there’s no way you can have a window, try installing LED lights. LED lights mimic the effects of sunlight. Offices with windows are in great demand and can help you focus on the task at hand better. There is, however, a downside to allowing sunlight into your office. Too much sunlight can cause a bothersome glare on your computer screen. It all depends on the amount of sunlight that enters your office and the location of windows.
- Temperature – Many experts agree that having ideal temperatures in your office can increase your productivity. Typically, if an office is too cold, you’ll be too concerned with trying to keep warm and shivering instead of focusing on your work! Same thing happens when an office is too hot. You’ll be squirming and fanning yourself all day instead of investing the day in finishing your to-do list. Ideally, temperatures between 70 and 73 degrees is perfect. Always keep in mind, space heaters and fans can also be used if programmed a/c or a heater is not available. Clicker HERE if you’d like to read more on ideal office temperatures.
- Smell – It’s no secret that we are all affected by different kinds of smells. A pungent and bad smell can make us uncomfortable, uneasy, and wishing to escape the smelly source as soon as possible. Smell can affect our moods and energy levels, at that. Aromatherapy can help ease stress, anxiety, promote relaxation, and can help with many more things. Here is a guide that Entrepreneur has provided for appropriate office scents.
Turn Off Notifications
Being notified of incoming calls and emails can definitely help you stay on top of everything. However, do not let those notifications distract you from work that is of more priority. Multi-tasking doesn’t help your productivity at all! It’s estimated that about 40% of your productivity decreases if it’s related to these pesty mail, text, and app notifications (including calls). If there’s something of utmost importance that needs to get done, put your phone on airplane mode, or even download an app that can help, such as, Focus or OFFTIME.
If this traditional office productivity approach is still not right for you, maybe you should consider having a Virtual Office. With a Virtual Office, you may do your work where you feel you’ll be more productive, and have a friendly receptionist answer, screen, and transfer your phone calls and forward your mail.
It’s time to reclaim your time and take steer of your productivity in the office (or wherever you may find yourself)!