How to organise your workspace for maximum productivity

Picture of a desk

I’m not talking about Feng Shui (although I’m an avid believer) I’m talking about science based facts that prove the layout of your workspace can either boost or hinder your productivity.

Colour

Colour dictates our mood in powerful ways. All colours influence different emotions – some colours boost productivity more then others depending on your line of work. A recent University of Texas study found that

  • White, grey and beige offices induced feelings of sadness, even depression, especially in women.
  • Green and blue (mother natures palette of choice) are the most universally productivity inducing colours. Both colours are calming – this not only increases overall wellbeing but also helps you to focus on intensive tasks for long stretches of time. Both colours also cause zero eye strain.
  • Purple helps to stimulate problem solving – however this tone is clearly under utilised in the traditional working space.
  • Orange is a social colour which encourages interaction. Perhaps not the best choice of colour for a workspace.
  • Yellow stimulates creativity and optimism. If you work in the creative industry or would like your work to focus on innovation, this could be perfect for you.
  • Red increases our heart rate, giving you a boost of energy and encourages physical activity. Your eye is instantly magnetised to red – therefore it might be distracting for desk workers but increase the productivity of physical/hands-on workers.

Temperature

A recent study found the ideal working temperature to be 25 degrees Celsius. Why is this important? Studies have found that too-cold workers made far more errors and came across as anti-social in social situations. One study in particular estimated that errors, due to cold offices, get as high as 44%!

Lighting

There is no replacement for true natural light. So unless you’re lucky enough to work from a hammock in Thailand, its likely your suffering from over-exposure to harsh artificial light. Artificial light and the “blue” light of our devices messes up your natural rhythm and leaves you drowsy and lethargic all day.

Its advisable to work in the light from the window and then just rely on an LED task lamp for reading or your desk area. If light from the window is not possible – then an LED lamp switched on in the morning and turned off in the afternoon can mimic natural light patterns.

Music

According to a recent study workers showed signs of increased happiness and efficiency whilst listening to music. The best music for maximum productivity is

  • Classical music – especially dramatic pieces with no lyrics
  • Familiar songs – so your brain doesn’t think ahead for what’s next
  • Video game soundtracks – these are specially designed to be atmospheric and not distracting to the focused gamer – Pac-Man anyone?
  • And my personal favorite recommendation – Electronica! The repetitive beat of Electronica has been shown to increase focus. Bring on the office raves!

 

Credit to Trello and their comprehsive post on workspace organisation

Author: Leila Mezoughi

Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.

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How to organise your workspace for maximum productivity - PCA LAW