11 office hacks to improve your work productivity

Sometimes it’s hard to get focused at work. Millions of things constantly demand our attention. Our minds can get distracted easily, for external factors, like noise and people or internal ones, like recurring thoughts or stress. These kind of situations reduce our productivity and make completing our daily tasks almost impossible.

It’s known that our environment dictates on a great manner how productive we are. The way the desk is placed, the amount of things on it and yes, even the color of your walls could be affecting your productivity. Making some small changes on the place your work can greatly improve your level of productiveness.

Here are some of the best workspace hacks to boost your productivity. First come in with good vibes. Then…

1. Improve your lighting

Bad lighting contributes to fatigue, eye strain, headaches and stress. Use natural lighting if possible. Have in mind that vitamin D deficiency is a real health problem and you can avoid it by spending enough time outdoors, opening your windows or doors and placing your desk closer to a window.

If working on a space with natural lighting is not possible try special indoor lighting. Adding lamps to the right place can provide great indirect lighting and reduce glare. If you feel that you need even more light, try LED task lights. Even the smallest change in lighting can make an incredible difference on a daily basis.

2. Get a standing desk

Sitting down for long periods of time can affect your health directly. It increases the risk of heart disease, back pain, diabetes and obesity. Using a standing desk can help you prevent it.

No, this doesn’t mean you’ll be standing up all day. In fact is better if you split 50 -50 between the time standing up and sitting down. However the use of standing desks have shown improvements not only in health, but in productivity.

A study showed that participants using standing desks reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire work day. Additionally, 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigor and energy throughout the day. Implementing this simple habit on your daily routine can switch your life from sedentary to productive.

3. Clear the clutter

In 2011 neuroscientists at Princeton University looked at people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment. The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.

When you work in a clean environment you feel happier and motivated. Try to start with the basics. Organize the wires from your computer, clean up your desk from things that shouldn’t be there (like mugs, trash, magazines, etc.) and leave only the necessary stuff.

At first this can be really hard, especially if you’ve been working in that way your whole life, but you’ll experience a true boost in productivity after doing it.

4. Add motivational artwork or prints

Working in a space that inspires you is very important for your productivity. Adding your favorite motivational quote, having a painting that you love or having a beautiful photograph in your workspace can make things better.

Including a personal touch and decorating the space you spent most of your time in has great benefits. Apart from improving the aesthetics of the place you’ll boost your creativity, reduce stress and increase your productivity.  

5. Add scents

Although visual stimulus are very important, there are other non-visual factors that help improve your workspace. Aromatherapy is an effective way to boost your productivity. According to a research by Takasago Corporation, typist made fewer errors when exposed to various scents: lemon scent produced 54% fewer mistakes, jasmine 33% and lavender 20%.

Scents have a wide range of benefits for the workplace.  Here are the ones we recommend.

  • Need to boost your mood, increase energy levels and concentration? Try Peppermint
  • Want to reduce anxiety and clear your mind? Use Lemon
  • Need to refresh, concentrate and lift your energy? Try Eucalyptus
  • Want to relieve stress and fight headaches? Use Lavender
  • You can use them as oil, in diffusers, or body lotions.

6. Add greenery

Plants bring life to any space. Aside from serving as great decoration, they improve air quality and reduce stress. Actually plants are so effective at removing contaminants that NASA will include them in future space stations.

They also help people be more productive and proactive. According to a 2014 study, incorporating plants into a workspace can increase productivity by 15%. And a research performed by Scientists at the University of Exeter found that plants aid concentration and boost staff wellbeing by 47% at work. Maybe it’s time to give a second chance to that succulent or cacti, right?

7. Move your office around

Change is good! And it also applies to your workspace. You don’t need to buy new furniture in order to give a different look to your office. Change the orientation of your desk, move it closer to the window, hang frames on the wall or add a lamp to the space.

Moving your office around can help you see things in a different way. Plus being in a fresh place arranged with harmony can elevate your mood and boost your creativity.   

8. Add more color

Have you ever noticed how colors affect your mood? The color of your clothes, walls or furniture can impact the way you feel and perform. Knowing the basis of color phycology and applying it to your daily life can be very beneficial to your mood and productivity.

For example blue calms and produces a sense of communication and efficiency. While yellow boosts creativity and lifts spirits. The color green reduces anxiety and creates a sense of balance. On the other hand red physiologically affects the body and elevates heart rate.  And although white promotes creativity and gives a sense of spaciousness when used in excess can reflect coldness and unfriendliness.

Take advantage of it and use it at your workplace. Try to pick 2 colors that suits you and use them on your walls or furniture. If you’re not able to make big changes to your space, find a couple of colourful accessories (a plant, a mouse pad or frame). This will bring life and personality to your workplace.   

9. Improve sound

Improving the sound of your workspace is crucial for boosting productivity. It’s not only about reducing the noise, it’s also about having the right sounds around you to help you get through the daily tasks.

You might have a favorite playlist for work, but is it helping or affecting your performance? In spite of your answer, if you’re curious about trying new music you can check 7 of the best office music for productivity. There are also several online radio stations that offer playlist for every type of mood or goal.

10. Improve the temperature

It is amazing how changes in temperature can affect the human body, mind and productivity. As a study from Cornell University showed, temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit lead to more errors and lower productivity. Temperatures above 68 degrees, meanwhile, have the opposite effect. But this isn’t an exact science yet. Another study showed that taking complex decisions might be harder when the body is in a warmer environment (77 degrees). However, having the right temperature at your workplace is important for your daily performance.

11. Get out of the office

Take a break! Getting out of the office and having enough rest is essential to boost your productivity. Eating lunch at your desk and being the last one to leave are never healthy habits. Sometimes taking a break can help you get the answer to the problem you’ve been trying to solve all day. A breath of fresh air can elevate your mood and open doors to new ideas. This also applies for people who work from home. Try to create new activities outside your house, take walks or include working out in your daily routine.

Do you have any other hacks to boost productivity? Share them in the comments!

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