5 makeover tips for a happier and more productive workspace.
On average, Americans spend roughly 44 hours a week working, with higher averages in tech and finance industries.1 Do the math and that equates to well over 90,000 hours of work in a 40-year span. So, it’s little wonder how impactful our work environments are upon the quality of our lives and productivity – and yet so little time is spent improving them. Read the following 5 critical tips to improve your workplace and learn how to make where you work, work for you.
Workspace as a state and state of mind.
Depending on how long you’ve been on the job, you probably have seen changes in the definition of workplace. From well-ordered cubicle rows to open-plan offices with no defined borders, the classic “desk” environment has evolved to include mobile and in-home office definitions. While many corporate worksites remain fairly rigid and predictable, the term “workspace” has as many interpretations as there are people working. How one best defines their ideal environment is entirely subjective, so let’s start with the key, objective elements that should be taken into consideration when building your ideal place for work.
- Clutter be gone – Clutter can limit the brain’s ability to process information, distracts us and can make it difficult to process information properly. Tackle too-much-stuff (on both your real and virtual desktop) by creating a hierarchy of items according to what is needed and how often, and remove things that are not used. Remember, organize to your own tastes, not your co-worker’s minimalist-gone-wild space; Einstein’s desk was in perpetual disarray, and he turned out okay. Let tech help you organize: Xerox® ConnectKey® technology offers built-in scanning capabilities and apps to help clear desktops of clutter by storing documents quickly and securely in the Cloud or digital folders.
- The right fit – Check your workstation for ergonomic compatibility. Your chair should provide enough back and armrest support to allow for you to move your legs freely under the desk, and arms should rest at a 90 degree angle with hands comfortably placed on the keyboard. Employers should ensure accessible ergonomic design too, making sure ramps, doorways and adaptive furniture is on hand for employees (and customers) with disabilities. Standing desks are more comfortable for some, and everyone can benefit from adding movement to your day.
- Environment – Even the best jobs suffer in poor environments, after all, who wants to work in an uninspiring or dispiriting space? Create a welcome setting with the proper temperature, light, and visual props or creature comforts (artwork, décor, wall color, plants, snack or coffee space, and space dividers or screens). Factor in sources of potential noise and minimize it with partitions, softer surfaces such as sofas and carpet, plants, or insultation. Try to use daylight-color high powered CFL bulbs that mimic sunlight for a natural workplace energizer.
- It’s all arranged – Fundamental to your workplace is the layout of your tools and furniture. If you find yourself reaching for a printer that is not convenient, or constantly having to get up to access files or tools in a neighboring space, you’re losing efficiency and focus. Place important items and resources close by; employers should also give thought to how teams interact with one another and place collaborating workers in close proximity.
- The right tools for your trade – Perhaps the most important asset of a winning workplace is the equipment required for a worker to do their best work. In addition to a solid internet connection, the right technology in the form of updated hardware (computer, laptop, tablet, phone, printer or multifunction printer), supporting software programs, apps, and general office supplies are a crucial part of any productive workspace. Invest in quality equipment like a Xerox® Multifunction Printer that can tackle multiple tasks while saving space and money.
Employers have the power, too
There’s more that goes into a positive, productive workspace than aesthetics and a comfortable chair. If you manage workers you have the power to create a successful workplace by instilling the belief that all workers are respected, valued and supported. Taking initiative to review the physical environment for starters shows that you care for more than the bottom line; maintaining updated equipment and technology, making the workplace appealing as well as functional, and creating a sense of community by acknowledging accomplishments and milestones, and fostering participation in events displays a company that cares about everyone – customers and workers alike.
Finally, a positive workplace reflects high morale, supportive relationships and management that believes in open and responsive practices and policies. Happier workers naturally engage more in their work, and their productivity reflects that. A comfortable, intuitive and inspiring workspace, encouraging management and a genuine sense of value add up to a work environment that is worthy of the time and effort we all put into our jobs.