How much would you say that a disorganized workspace affects your productivity and efficiency? How long can you ignore the messes around you before you throw up your hands in the air and say, “That’s it! I can’t deal with this mess anymore!”
For most people, that time is not very long, maybe a few hours or even a day. And if you have a boss that cherishes organization in the office, he may even bring you into the office to tell you your desk is too disorganized.
Beyond messes on your desk, it’s the actual setup of the office space – your workspace – that has been found in studies to increase productivity up to 16% and job satisfaction by 9%.
Some of the things that you may not consider are listed below.
- Dual Screens/Monitors on Your Desk
Do you have one screen or two? Studies show that dual screens help people become as much as 43% more productive. However, they have to be set up in an ergonomic setup or back strain and eye strain will result.
The main screen should be the one you use to type, and the other one should be used for reference. The main screen should be right in front of you, at eye level. The second screen should be at a parallel height. This height helps you avoid any eye and neck strain.
When your computer screens are placed ergonomically in your workspace, you’ll feel the difference in your moods and your efficiency during work.
- Mouse Placement
While you have these dual screens, consider the placement of your mouse in your workspace. It should be close enough to you to keep the angle of your elbow far from 180 degrees. At a 180-degree angle, you’ll get repetitive stress injuries. As you can imagine, if you’re suffering from pain while working and every little click of the mouse brings an excruciating lightning bolt up your arm, your efficiency and productivity will be low.
Test this idea out and move your mouse far away from your body and see the difference. You’ll start to notice strain in your neck and arm muscles within 30 minutes. Then you’ll begin to get cranky for no reason at all and your efficiency and productivity will be noticeably different.
- The Lighting
The type of lighting you have in your office also affects how you work. A few decades ago and even as late as 2019, researchers found that natural lighting had a better influence on the nervous system activity such as heart rate variability and work performance than fluorescent lighting. Since work performance and efficiency are directly related, it makes sense to consider ergonomically placed lighting in the workspace.
Natural lighting and windows are associated with less stress and anxiety, and better moods and concentration. With natural lighting, you can expect better and longer sleep at night – a full 46 minutes more each night. The optimum design in the workplace for this is workstations within 20 to 25 feet of the walls with the windows. The light synchronizes the brain and the body according to the researcher of this study.
A brain that’s synced to your body is the perfect strategy to improve your efficiency. Whatever you can do to enhance this will improve how you feel and perform at work.
Also, the old-fashioned, cheap incandescent bulb sitting next to you on your desk in a light fixture has been found by Tufts University scientists to increase creativity. Subjects exposed to a light bulb were able to solve insight problems 30% more of the time than those who had no light bulb nearby.
- The Chair
The next thing to consider is the chair you use. Work productivity can’t help but decline if your blood circulation is restricted during the time you are sitting. This leads to muscle aches and pains as well as potential blood clots. Doctors are now calling sitting for extended periods of time “the sitting disease” and it’s linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health disorders as well as early death.
The best solution here is the Acharya chair. It’s an ergonomically designed chair that allows you to activate your core muscles; it’s similar to balancing your body on a balance ball. Your body doesn’t even think it’s sitting when you’re in this chair because your muscles are contracting and you’re not immobilized as you are in a regular desk chair. Greater productivity and better moods are a given in this chair. And of course, when you feel better, you are more apt to have greater efficiency at work, something that will please your boss!
Consider your workspace in new ways and it will definitely pay off! Once your body is in an ergonomically correct setting, productivity and efficiency happen automatically.
How the Right Dual Monitor Setup Can Boost Productivity. Accessed online on July 7, 2021. https://www.hermanmiller.com/research/categories/white-papers/seeing-double-the-effects-of-multiple-monitor-arms/
Paul, Maria. Natural Light in the Office Boosts Health. Daylight in your office improves sleep, physical activity and quality of life. Aug. 8, 2014. Northwestern Now. https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2014/08/natural-light-in-the-office-boosts-health
Yasukouchi, A., et al. Non-visual effects of diurnal exposure to an artificial skylight, including nocturnal melatonin suppression. J Physiol Anthropol 2019 Aug 28; 38(1):10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31462321/
Dooley, Roger. 25-Cent Creativity Booster. Accessed online July 7, 2021. https://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/creativity-light-bulb.htm