You might wonder “how can I make my office space more productive?” Many factors impact how much work the average small business owner completes in a day. Eliminating distractions and adding motivation helps you get the most from the hours you put into your job.
According to Ohio University research, the average full-time employee works a mere two hours and 53 minutes per day. People spend the rest of their day in frivolous pursuits that don’t aid productivity.
You can beat those odds and get more work done than most other entrepreneurs simply by setting up the perfect office space environment for productivity. Here are our favorite tips to keep you focused and on task no matter what type of business you run.
1. Revamp Your Layout
It’s hard to focus on your job if there is clutter and messes all around you. Depending on the type of work you do, you may need to get up and move around the space, consult with other employees or even pull open file draws.
Use grid paper and lay out office furniture. Think through the different movements you complete throughout the day. Is anything in the way of that? If there is something which might slow you down, move it elsewhere.
The flow of traffic typically goes from the entry to key points in your workspace, such as the printer, computers and break area. Can you create better flow? If you aren’t sure, invest in a consultation with an interior architect.
2. Cut Down on Noise
Sound can be one of the biggest issues impacting productivity. The more wavelengths vibrate per second, the higher the pitch of the sound. Even things such as mini fridges can create a buzz and annoy staff enough to cut down on productivity.
Fortunately, there are ways to add buffers and create a quiet cocoon of a workspace. Add ceiling and wall panels to absorb sound. Seek out the source of any buzzing or vibration in the room. Even small touches, such as area rugs and curtains help lessen the overall noise level.
Keep in mind that some people need a bit of background noise to help tune out co-workers or typing sounds. If you aren’t a solopreneur and have employees, allow them to listen to music through noise cancelling headphones to drown out some of the hustle and bustle of an average office area.
3. Keep Sustenance at Hand
When you’re hungry or thirsty, you may not be as focused as you should be. Don’t be afraid to keep a mini fridge by your desk with cold water, soft drinks and snacks.
Breaks can be a good way to refocus your energy and gain productivity. However, if you’re in the middle of an important design and have a deadline to meet, you may want to grab something and keep trucking.
Make sure you keep a good balance between working productively and working so hard you burn yourself out. Get up from your desk when you need to stretch your legs or get some fresh air.
4. Use Inspiring Colors
You’ve probably heard colors evoke emotions in people. Some colors are soothing and relaxing, such as light blues and greens. Others elicit excitement, such as red. If you want to create the perfect productive environment, you don’t want people too mellow or too ramped up from the shades on the walls.
A medium hue of blue helps you focus. Yellow can give you a burst of energy. Consider choosing a main color to maintain focus and not distract while adding pops of color to enhance energy.
5. Invest in Equipment
You can only be as productive as your equipment allows. In an age where the internet of things (IoT) grows every month, if you aren’t on top of new ways to stay connected, you’ll fall behind.
Statista reports an estimated 75.44 billion IoT devices by 2025. You can use apps to help you remain on top of projects, stay in touch with customers and even track your time. Tap into customer relationship management software to ensure you never let a customer fall through the cracks.
Look at technology as an investment in productivity. If you can automate something, you’ll save time and be better able to focus on the things that grow your business.
6. Surround Yourself with Inspiration
Sometimes you need a little push to stay focused. Look for quotes that inspire you and hang them around your office space. Write out little goals on sticky notes and place them around your computer screen.
Is there a person who you admire for their hard work and dedication? Hang their photo up on the wall behind your desk. Use affirmations and goals to start each day.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Whether you work in a dedicated office with employees or you work from your home as a solopreneur, you face distractions. Make a list of your interruptions throughout the work day eating up your time.
For example, your co-worker stops by to chat for twenty minutes at the start of each day. Your neighbor knocks on your door every morning at 10 a.m. wanting to tell you about the latest local gossip. The phone rings 90 times in a row.
Whatever your distractions are, make a list of them and come up with a solution for each. Turn off your phone and refuse to answer it during work hours. People can leave messages. One exception might be if you have children and the school calls. Tell your co-worker you’d love to chat on break but you really must get to work to meet your deadline. Don’t answer your door or let your neighbor know you can’t talk between certain hours.
Get rid of the distractions and your productivity increases.
Study Other Productive People
Who do you know that’s most productive? Pay attention to the things they do and the habits they have. How do they start their day? Is their space neat and organized? How do they handle interruptions?
When you pay attention to the success of others, you set yourself up to follow in their footsteps. Look for ways to excel in what you do and make the most of your work hours.
About the Author:
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency before becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.