Designing Success: How a Well-Planned Workspace Boosts Productivity

Woman working in a coworking space.

Where you work determines a lot about how you work, and the many physical aspects of your workspace can impact your productivity. Let’s explore some tips for planning your workspace to ensure it’s conducive to your success.

Benefits of a Well-Planned Workspace

Eliminate Clutter

One of the biggest enemies of productivity is clutter, but it just so happens that many people keep a somewhat cluttered workspace. Clutter can be a stapler, a cup of pens, a notebook, or whatever else you may need for work. Clutter can also spread into desk drawers and cabinets where you keep important paperwork or other equipment necessary for getting your work done. One of the biggest sorts of clutter in a modern workspace is cords. From mouse and keyboard cords to HDMI cables and power cords for your monitors, your desk can be a mess of cables. Use cable management techniques and products to tame your tangle of wires into a well-managed single cable. In a shared workspace or a coworking space, cable management can help ensure that there are no tripping hazards. It also makes things much easier to clean and dust, whether your office has cleaning staff or you’re doing it yourself. A clutter-free workspace ensures that you can access the things you need when you need them, and this can definitely improve your productivity. 

Keep It Clean

It’s nobody’s intention to make a mess, but sometimes messes happen. Humans produce trash whether they want to or not, and this is true in our workspaces just like it is anywhere else. Your mostly broken pen that you keep for taking notes is sitting right next to a perfectly functioning pen, and you’re not sure why you’re keeping it. The trash can under your desk is getting full, and you haven’t emptied it out in a few days because it’s just paper and a coffee cup. Remote workspaces can often fall victim to this since you’re in your home and may accumulate things from around the house. If you’re really into your work, you may forget to take that empty glass back to the kitchen, and suddenly it’s a fixture on your desk. Open mail, notebooks, and snacks can all pile up and start to shrink your workspace. 

Your desk’s cleanliness has more to do with your productivity and mental health than you may think. A clean workspace is a productive space, so ensure that things aren’t getting out of hand by taking a few minutes every day to remove trash and recycling from your workspace. You spend eight hours a day there (and sometimes more), so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Keep your desk clean, and you’ll notice you’re being more productive.

Balance Comfort and Function

Ergonomics are an important aspect of office work, and they’re a key component in how you create a workspace that improves productivity. If you’re unfamiliar with ergonomics, at its core, ergonomics is the study of efficiency at work, and it encompasses everything from productivity measures to basic human comfort. Using psychological and physiological research, ergonomics gives advice for things as basic as how to sit at your desk all the way to the proper eye level of a monitor. Creating an ergonomic workspace for yourself means two things: you’ll be comfortable, and you’ll get more done. There are also a variety of exercise-based tips that are inspired by ergonomics. These quick desk exercises are designed to help you stretch and keep from hurting yourself while you work in an office setting. Getting up and taking walks on your breaks is also a great way to ensure that your body and mind are stimulated, improving your productivity. 

Eliminate Distractions

Coworking spaces are an excellent place to get work done when you’re a remote or freelance worker. Like any workspace, even a home office, it’s possible that distractions may occur while you’re working. Everyone is different, so what distracts us varies from person to person. Some people find their productivity flourishes in an open and collaborative space, while others may struggle with noise or visual stimuli. 

So, are open workspaces productive? They absolutely are, but minimizing distractions in these coworking settings is sometimes challenging. Fortunately, coworking is about building community, and so people who cowork are generally very understanding and respectful of others’ boundaries. If you’re struggling to work in a coworking space, try to find another place to get things done. Large coworking campuses like Center 615 have a lot of space for people to spread out, so people who like quiet can find it. If you need something more structured, you’re not alone! Many coworking spaces have designated desks that you can rent with private, personal space and walls to reduce the transmission of sound and other distractions. No matter what you need to get work done, you can find it in a coworking space or at home. You simply need to determine what distracts you and take proactive steps to reduce it. If you need help, there are tons of resources on ways to reduce distractions in the workplace. 

Adapt the Space

Some people do incredibly dynamic work that changes from day to day, and others have a fairly repetitive set of tasks they need to tackle each day. Whenever things change at work, whether it’s a break in routine or a promotion to a new position, the nature of your work can quickly and drastically shift. Your workspace did well to serve you in what you used to be doing, but now things need to change to suit your new work. If your job now calls for more data analysis, consider getting a second or third monitor for ease of access. On the other hand, if you’re now working with paper documents more often, consider paring back the tech in your workspace to make room for desktop work. Your office workspace should be able to adapt to your needs, but you need to know what’s necessary first. Look for resources at work in others around you, or check online for methods for organizing your work if the learning curve is a bit beyond your expectations. It’s perfectly acceptable to need a helping hand when your responsibilities at work change, but the sooner you get help, the better off you’ll be. 

Plan for a More Productive Day

Planning your workspace to boost productivity is easy if you feel comfortable in your workspace and are willing to make small, meaningful changes. Work in Nashville’s most unique coworking space, and learn all the ways you can design success at Center 615.

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