How to create a productive and inspiring workspace

Providing a productive workspace that’s comfortable, organised, and free of clutter will motivate your team to get the job done. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth, either. A few minor upgrades to your space can have a huge impact on your team.

Here are six ways to bolster workplace productivity this year.

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Natural light improves concentration

Before you spend a small fortune on fancy fitness centres or ping-pong tables, make sure you have the lighting sorted. A recent study conducted by Future Workplace found access to natural light and views of the outdoors to be the highest ranked workplace perk.

The expert behind the study, Jeanne C. Meister, wrote in the Harvard Business Review that “Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace, adding that 43 per cent feel gloomy because of the lack of light.”

While natural light is essential, make sure there’s no glare on your screen, because this can cause headaches and eye strain . Simple steps like re-configuring desks so the glare from windows isn’t on computer screens or adding skylights to a dark space can impact on the look and feel of your workspace significantly.

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Get comfortable and supportive

Make sure you consider ergonomics when setting up your workspace, starting with the right equipment to be comfortable when sitting at the desk for long stints.

Items like monitor stands, switching to two monitors instead of one to avoid neck strain, or a desk that converts between standing and sitting can be a worthwhile investment. An ergonomic chair (one that is highly adjustable with a moveable back), can also have a big impact on your productivity levels. Relocating where you work from throughout the day can also improve concentration and productivity significantly.

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A flexible layout

Wireless and cordless allows for flexibility to work in all environments, and feels more like home, according to Matt Riley, architect and interior and design expert of TONIC. For example, range extenders and Wi-Fi boosters can be a great addition to any workspace.

“A flexible layout means it’s possible to provide a unified space that can cater to the various needs of different individuals. After all, work isn’t always done at the desk, and technology assists us with this flexibility – so does open plan space with the right furniture taking the place of sold partitions,” Riley says.

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Maximise the space

Having to walk across the space every time you need to print something can be disruptive to workflow. Look for ways to update your space with floating shelves, wall mounted box cubes and filing cabinets and printers near workstations. These simple and often cost-effective updates can have a big lift in employee productivity. 

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Personal space

While the trend of collaboration has extended to the sharing of desks and work stations, this can sometimes lead to a sense of loss of ownership over individual space, Riley says.   Known as hot-desking, this trend has stemmed from the growing number of flexible working arrangements in Australian workplaces, and many have a love/hate relationship with this approach.

“Simple design strategies such as providing elements of the space that can be personalised, such as mobile pedestal drawers, fixed or moveable lockers, centrally located customisable wall features or pin boards can provide individuals with a sense of ownership over elements of the space without isolating them from the collaborative environment.”

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Embrace technology

Today’s technology has come a long way in the last decade. With the aid of your trusty smartphone and tablet, it’s easier than ever to manage various aspects of your home and workspace ahead of time or from a remote location. This can include changing the lighting, adjusting the air conditioning before your employees arrive at work, checking energy usage and even utilising the security of your home or workspace. A technologically intuitive space can therefore make your everyday life easier and more convenient. 

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