Part 1: Design
Want to learn a few tricks to maximize productivity in the workplace from an interior design perspective? Well, here’s your opportunity, and it all starts with the design of the space. Office space design in a shared workspace made simple.
When setting up your office, you should have enough personal work space per person. If you have an office that is shared with one or more of your colleagues, each person should be comfortable and have a workstation that provides ample table space to accommodate their needs. When configuring your workstations, you should allow enough space behind you to comfortably push out your chair when getting in and out of your workstation without bothering your office-mate(s). For example, if your desired layout consists of lining the desks facing the walls on both sides of the office, try staggering the desks to avoid backing into your colleague’s chair as you leave your workstation. The less unnecessary interruptions we have at work (such as bumping into your colleagues chair as you get up for a snack), the more time we have to increase our productivity.
When sitting at your desk, you should feel comfortable. If you find that your elbows, back, or neck hurts, those are indicators that you need to make some simple adjustments. Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment. From an interior design standpoint, this includes your seated posture, height of your screen, etc. When you spend 8 hours or more of your day sitting at your desk at work, you should be seated in an ergonomic chair. This means you can adjust the height of the seat and arms, the lumbar support, and the angle of the seat. When sitting, your feet should be flat on the floor (no dangling feet!), the weight of your arms should be supported at all times, and the lumbar support should be adjusted to ensure you are not slouching and putting extra weight or pressure on a specific part of your body. It will only take five minutes out of your morning to adjust your chair to the correct height that fits your body type. If you work in a space that allows you to have the same chair at your desk every day, you can set your perfect fit once, and you will not have to adjust daily.
One part of ergonomics and efficiency that many people forget is their neck posture. It is so easy to strain your neck from looking down at your computer screen. For that reason, you should raise your desktop monitor or laptop screen to be at your eye level. Most desktop monitors have an adjustable arm to do so, and an easy solution when using a laptop is to invest in a laptop stand or riser.
While working in a commercial office space, general lighting is typically provided, which allows little to no control over the lighting levels. Overhead lighting alone is not enough to maximize one’s productivity level; that’s why task lamps, otherwise known as desk lamps, have an important impact on your productivity level, especially in the winter months when the days are shorter. Natural light is always the best lighting to work in - it is easy on the eyes, renders colors more true, and saves on energy costs. However, not all offices offer a window space - this is when desk lamps and the lightbulbs that are used in them become crucial to your productivity output. Desk lamps that can be adjusted and use a “natural light” LED bulb are best to use in any office - whether it has a window with natural light or is an internal office. We now have LED bulbs that offer “natural light” or the most white color temperature. When we talk about a light bulb with “natural light,” we mean the color temperature of the emitted light. Lights that appear to have a yellow tint are often referred to as warm/soft or incandescent. This mimics the sunlight that we encounter outside and makes us feel better - it is a much more comfortable light color to work under.
Now that we have some of the basic set-up of the office from a design perspective, we can move into the personalization of your space that will support productivity. Check in next week to learn tips for personalizing your space while increasing your productivity level.