Optimizing your workspace

On an average workday, a person spends 8.7 hours working. That’s 43.5 hours a week, 174 hours a month and 2,088 hours a year. That’s more time working than sleeping (an average American sleeps 7.7 hours a day)! With a majority of your time being spent at work, being comfortable in your workspace is essential. If you are not comfortable, you will not be productive, which may lead to even more hours spent working.

Here are four tips on making your workspace a comfortable and productive area:

1. ####Organization
Papers stacked in every corner, multiple to-do lists scattered across the wall, post-it note reminders creating a color explosion in your work area. Far too often, this is the case for work areas. It can be overwhelming and hinder your thinking, and thus your work. To keep your desk area clean, use the basic organization systems: filing folders, filing folder storage, cork boards and white boards.
Using filing folders, plus the storage, keeps your papers organized and easy-to-view. You can keep it simple or fancy when it comes to what you get. I’m a fan of doing both, like spicing it up with these gold filing folders and complimenting them with simple storage. Cork boards keep up-coming projects at a prominent view without taking over your space and white boards allow quick notes to remind yourself in one area instead of scattered across your desk. I recommend checking out Target for these pieces and much more. They offer a wide variety of office organization items at reasonable prices.

2. ####Lighting
Lighting is one of the more overlooked issues affecting productivity in offices. In fact, 68% of employees have complained about the lighting in their offices, but why exactly? Lights that are too dim can strain your eyes and cause headaches. Sometimes, an overall lighting change in an office is necessary, but for short-term, you can move near more natural light, or the more convenient solution: get a desk lamp. More lighting will reduce the strain on your eyes, but be careful not to get too harsh, artificial lighting as this has the same affects as dim lighting, plus it makes it more difficult for the eye to focus. Finding the perfect amount of lighting will have a significant impact on your productivity and make you feel better!

3. ####Chair
While some of your time at work is spent getting coffee, making prints or walking to meetings, most is spent in your desk chair. If it’s uncomfortable, it’s going to be a long workday every day. An uncomfortable chair can increase backaches and decrease productivity. A solution to this is to get an ergonomic chair. These chairs support the lower back and promote good posture. Also, try out a standing desk. Sitting for hours per day is shown to increase health risk. By having a standing desk, it can make your workday healthier – both mentally and physically. If you can’t have or don’t want a standing desk, check out these tips to improve your desk ergonomics.

4. ####Personal Touch
This part is my second favorite, behind organization. Your workplace is your second home. At your home, you have photos of friends and family, decorative accents and framed artwork. You’ve made your home your personal haven. Why not bring some of that into your workplace? Print off photos, find your favorite quotes and frame them, bring the outdoors in with flowers or add simple trinkets to your desk, like a standing wooden letter of your initial or different sized vases. Being a recent college alumna, I’m looking to add some of my alma mater pride! There are endless ways to personalize your desk, and the more personalized you make it, the more comfortable and productive you will be. Just be sure to avoid clutter and keep it organized!

How do you make your workspace more comfortable and productive? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays.