5 Keys to a Productive Workspace

You know what it’s like when you walk in to a place, be it a store, restaurant, or coffee shop and “the energy just isn’t right?”  You can’t put your finger on it, but it’s all just wrong. You can’t relax, focus on what you are supposed to be doing in there, and can’t wait to get out of there.

What about your workplace? When you get to your desk, do you feel focused, inspired, and energized? After all, this is supposed to be the one place where you do your best work.

Does it matter?

Actually it does. We already intuitively know that working in a comfortable space makes us more productive, but the data also backs it up. Studies show that employees that have control over the design and layout of their workspace are 32% more productive than those who don’t. If you can’t get full control over your workspace, just enhancing it with plants and pictures increases productivity by 17%.

Why is a cozy workplace a more productive workplace?

It’s impossible to know definitively, but I have a few theories:

  • Decorating your space provides a sense of control, which provides empowerment. As Dan Pink talks about in his book Drive, people are motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose – and even something as “simple” as having control over your workspace is an important step in having autonomy in what you do.
  • You will pick colors, textures, and objects that provide happy memories, that you enjoy, and make you feel good. There is nothing like look at a photo or object that brings back a precious memory to put a smile on someone’s face and provide inspiration.
  • You can adjust your lighting to best fit you and your eyes.

How to create a productive workspace

  1. Choose colors, textures, and fabrics that make you feel happy and relaxed. Forget what the “experts” in color theory tell you, and choose what you like.
  2. Everything has a home. Don’t let your workspace become a ground for everything else that doesn’t have a place. This doesn’t mean that the environment has to be sterile – as that goes against the principles – but a disorganized workspace is not a productive one.
  3. Inspiration pieces. Plants, photos, and trinkets associated with happy memories are a great way to personalize your space and provide inspiration.
  4. Room to move. Make sure you have room to get up and walk around – the movement will enhance problem-solving, provide inspiration, let you physically detach from whatever is going on at the desk when you need a stress break.
  5. Stand. If you can, provide both seated and standing work areas. A convertible desk, standing desk with a chair, or even a seated desk with a whiteboard where you stand for creative work are all great solutions.

What are you going to do to improve YOUR workspace?

Photo Credit: BMeunier

About Jen Waak

Jen Waak is a health, wellness, and fitness coach that works with entrepreneurs and other crazy-busy professionals to help them have the bodies they want without having to give up their lives. Also the author of the Keyboard Athletes Guide to Pain Relief & Prevention, Jen lives, trains, and coaches in Seattle, WA. Sign up for her no-cost course How to Have the Body You Want (Without Giving Up Your Life) at http://KeyboardAthletes.com.