Sooner or later most individuals realize that without a defined and personalized workplace, it would be difficult to maintain productivity and efficiency throughout the day. Of course, they are some individuals who would enjoy a change of location – like a coffee shop or library – however, a personalized workplace for maximum productivity is very important.
A recent survey of freelancers showed that the most productive of the lot are the ones that have a dedicated home office.
With the amount of time we spend at the office, it would make a lot of sense to add your own personal touch to your workspace.
Some companies have rules and regulations that might be set in place because of the safety of workers, this doesn’t stop you from adding your personal flair to your surroundings.
It doesn’t matter whether your personalized workplace would be at home or the office – a cubicle or a shared workplace, the important thing is that you invest as much as you can.
Make it a home away from home. You would be more productive at work when you are happier.
Check out these 10 tips for a personalized workplace for maximum productivity, efficiency, and all-round happiness.
1. A controlled environment
The first step to achieve a personalized workplace for maximum productivity is to get a room you can control. You have to create for yourself an ideal area that would ensure maximum productivity. A room with a door is very important for times when you want to shut out the outside world and just focus on your work.
Always be innovative – if you don’t have your own dedicated space at work or home, you can convert a walk-in closet or even a part of the garage into a workspace.
You don’t need a large room, all you need is an area that you can call yours.
2. Good Lighting
Different kinds of activities would require a specific kind of lighting. The kind of lighting that a writer or editor who works with words is different for the type of lighting that a photographer who works with pictures and colors would need. Find out the right lighting for the job you perform and light up your space accordingly.
Natural light is also very important. Try to ensure that there is a window that allows for direct sunlight into your workplace. This improves the cheeriness of the room. A dark room would definitely dampen your mood thus reducing your productivity.
More importantly, try to avoid lights that are too bright as this can cause headaches and even strain your eyes.
Types of Lighting
If you don’t know what kind of lighting would best fit your office, check out some of the options you can choose from. Each of these lights would serve a specific purpose and have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Have you noticed that in most offices windows are a rare commodity? They are most times reserved for CEOs and executives. Natural light is much more superior to any form of artificial lighting you can find.
An article that was published after a study was conducted in Britain showed that when workers are exposed to natural light, their satisfaction and productivity increases.
Your mood and behavior are affected more positively in a way that artificial lighting won’t. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can.
Personally, I don’t approve of this to be the lighting you choose for your workspace. This kind of lighting isn’t always very bright and can leave shadows. If you want to install this kind of lighting may be to spice up your décor, you should also have another source of lightning.
Fluorescent lights can cause discomfort to your eyes. In cases like this, you should add an ambient or corrective source of lighting.
If you decide to use overhead lighting, avoid direct parabolic lighting instead use lensed indirect lighting.
If your office doesn’t have appropriate or sufficient lighting, you may decide to use a desk lamp also called task lighting. These lamps can be plugged into various outlets to provide an extra source of light when you need it.
Tip: You can purchase some specific type of task lighting that can imitate the feel and look of natural light.
The one feature that makes ambient lighting great is its low intensity. It gives the right amount of light to allow for a peaceful working atmosphere. Ambient lighting is a good option to reduce stress at work.
If your job demands that you have to spend a lot of time in front of a monitor, corrective lighting is something you should look into. Staring at your laptop all day can cause headaches and eye strain, the corrective lighting helps to reduce the glare that comes from the screen reducing your discomfort.
How to Light Your Office Right
- First thing is to ensure that the light is properly distributed. You want to ensure that the whole of your workplace is properly lit and there are no shadows anywhere.
- The color of your wall painting also affects the lighting of your office. Avoid glossy or bright wall paints as much as you can because they can contribute to the glare.
- Glare can come in two kinds – reflected or direct glare. A common source of reflected glare is a computer monitor and it can be taken care of by adding corrective lighting to your workplace. Direct glares are caused when the light fixtures are placed wrongly or from direct sunlight. A good solution is to place the lighting fixtures so that they reflect away from you and you can also use shades for the sunlight when it causes glares.
How Do You Know You Need Better Lighting?
When you start to experience the negative effects that come with poor lightings like eye strains or headaches, it’s time for you to change your lighting.
3. Organize your workplace (no cluttering)
A messy or disorganized desk would not help your productivity. Imagine that you need a stapler, and you take about 30 minutes to find it. Precious time you could have used in doing other things.
A cluttered workspace won’t work for you the same way that a clean and organized desk would. Decluttering your workspace would make your life easier.
How to Organize Your Work Station
- Store pile, Junk Pile, To-do pile: This is a three-step method I use personally and it has been very efficient. Categorize the items on your desk into three categories. Items that you use regularly should be placed in the “store pile”; a takeout menu and the likes should be placed in the “junk pile”; and items you are using currently should be placed in the “to-do” pile.
- Make use of Labels: Instead of stacking and storing piles of documents on top of each other, find a way to organize that would make sense to you and another person looking for that item. A good way to this is to have a labeled box to specify various items and their uses. After labeling them you can have a space to store the boxes till you need them.
- Take care of the To-do pile: These are the tasks that currently need your immediate attention. Tackle these projects – create folders for each specific task in the projects according to dates and deadlines. After you are done with the pile, throw away any unimportant documents into a bin.
- Make use of Technology: Instead of having a hard copy for every document you work on, you can make use of a computer. You can store anything on a computer, from documents to contact lists, address books, and even your to-do lists. There are also a ton of productivity tools you can try out.
4. Get a comfortable chair
If you spend around 8 to 10 hours a day at work, you would probably spend more time on your chair than your bed – more reason you should make it very comfortable. Remember that stylish is not the same thing as comfortable. A chair can be very appealing and stylish but can also break your back in the process.
A good chair is very important for a personalized workplace for maximum productivity, never underestimate it.
How to Make Your Chair Comfortable
- Add back support: You can go to a hardware store and buy lumbar support that you can attach to the back of your chair. The supports helps support the curvature of your back and improve your sitting posture. If you have enough funds, you can even buy a slightly expensive chair that has adjustable lumbar support inbuilt in the chair.
- Have adjustable arms: Adjustable arms on your chairs can provide support for your arms and prevent muscle strain and tightening in the neck and shoulder muscles.
- Place a footrest under your desk: Keeping your feet properly aligned can improve the circulation of blood throughout your body. It helps reduce cramps and keeps you in a proper sitting position
- Adjustable height for your workstation: A good addition to your workspace would be an adjustable workstation. It is not advisable to spend the entire day sitting. Buy a desk that you can adjust at intervals so you can spend some time on your feet instead of sitting all the time.
5. Add Cool Decorations
Since you spend the majority of your time at your workplace during the day, it would do a lot of good to you if you add some decor to your workstation. Decorate it the same way you would decorate your room since you might even be spending most of your time there.
When I say decorations, I don’t mean hanging a chandelier or adding Persian rugs to your workstation. I am talking about little creative changes you can add to your workspace to make it feel more personal.
How to apply decoration to the personalized workplace for maximum productivity
Hang a Wire for Displaying Pictures:
Instead of using frames that clutter your workplace and make it disorganized, you can use a wire to display your pictures. They make your workspace fun to look at.
Add some Green Plants:
Plants are a fantastic way to decorate your workspace and they also lighten up to the mood. A bonus to having plants around you is that they purify the air, keeping your lungs clean and your head fresh. You can buy low maintenance plants like succulents, Jade Plant, English Ivy, or Snake Plant.
NOTE: Before you go buy a plant, ensure that your co-workers don’t have any allergies for a specific kind of plant to avoid work hazards.
Make Use of Push Pins:
These add additional spice to the wall of your cubicle. You can also make use of colorful magnetic pins to a magnetic board. The colors from the pins can add life to your workplace and you can even pin them to form a nice pattern.
Get a nice colorful mug:
Instead of using a company mug or a boring one, just opt for a colorful mug that fits your style. Drink your coffee with class.
6. Have your Personal Computer
You might also add a printer and scanner depending on the type of work you do. Having your own designated computer can save you a lot of time. You wouldn’t have to wait in line to use a computer or printer when you have a deadline.
Invest in the right technology, it would save you the time and maximize your productivity. It would also be a good idea to implement productivity systems like Pomodoro into your routine.
7. Buy Your Own Coffee
In most of the offices I have been too, their coffees are always terrible. Sometimes they taste like dust and can even affect your body physiology.
Save yourself the trouble by having a stash of instant coffee depending on the flavor you like in one of your drawers. You would be very grateful to drink quality coffee. Not only would it be tasty, but it would also give you the required boost you need for the day.
8. Classy Stationery
Same as the coffee, the standard-issue sticky notes, and pens giving by companies can be very boring. It is not all about working, you need to also liven up your day.
Invest in a glow-in-the-dark pen, a designer sketch pad, or a set of vintage, or novelty tape dispensers.
If you want to be extra boogie, you can get for yourself a stamped stationery with your personal monogram on it.
9. Have a Reflection Mirror
Place a mirror behind your computer monitor.
Studies have shown that your co-workers would be more polite and behave better if they can see themselves in a mirror.
Get a frame with some style to add some class to your workplace. It would also lift your spirits and help you know if someone is sneaking up on you.
10. Invest in Collectibles
You can use whatever you like to liven up your desk.
If you collect poker chips from casinos or vintage dolls, you can use them to decorate your workstation. This not only makes your desk look cool, but it also adds a touch of your personality to your work station.
I hope these tips on how to have a personalized workplace for maximum productivity were helpful. Leave your thoughts in the comment area.
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