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STREAMLINE YOUR STUFF: Organizing your office isn’t just about eliminating clutter


The design and setup of your workspace can affect you physically which affects your ability to get work done. (Jane Veldhoven)
The design and setup of your workspace can affect you physically which affects your ability to get work done. (Jane Veldhoven)

It’s been too long since I’ve written anything about office organizing and design. November would be an excellent month to reorganize and refresh your home office. And it’s the perfect time of year to consider some ideas that might improve your productivity at work.

Organizing your office isn’t just about eliminating clutter. It’s about creating a healthy and productive environment. Sadly, I’m not letting you off the hook with the tidying part of the job as a visually cluttered office can cause anxiety and overwhelm and most certainly is a constant distraction.

Lighting

Working in a poorly lit environment is detrimental to your well-being and effectiveness. Spend as much of your time working near natural light as you possibly can. Consider that when deciding where to locate your home office. And if you don’t have access to natural light in your office, try to arrange your schedule so you spend a portion of your work day in a collaborative space near a window or offsite. If that just isn’t possible, purchase a desk light that mimics natural daylight.

Temperature

According to research the optimal temperature for working is between 20 and 23 degrees. If the temperature is too cold that can lead to up to 44 per cent more errors. Yikes!

Sound

Background music can really help with focus. Learning to maintain focus will be the number one skill we need to learn over the coming years. Quiet classical baroque music has been shown to be the best choice. If that’s just not your thing, try electronica as its repetitive nature is also good for increasing productivity. Studies have shown that people are most productive with 70 decibels of background noise.

Colour

I have written before about colour and how it affects your mood. One new thing I learned is that men and women are affected differently by different colours. Go figure. Changing paint colour is a quick and easy way to change the feeling of your office space. The colour of your clothing can also affect how you work. Try wearing red if you need to increase your energy or green if you need to calm down.

Ergonomics

The design and set up of your workspace can affect you physically which affects your ability to get work done. I am seeing more and more people using sit/stand desks. You might consider this same option at home if need be. The key is to get up and stretch regularly throughout the day. You can even buy a treadmill desk or a bicycle desk if you want to try to squeeze in some cardio while you’re working. A rubber seat cushion on your chair for a portion of the day can also be a simple way of getting a little core exercise. Holding a walking meeting is also an excellent idea.

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