Hack Your Desk Set Up to Boost Productivity at Work
Most of us are not strangers to spending the majority of the day at a desk. Let’s face it, the desk is a stalwart of any professional environment. It’s the place we strategize, organise, plan, and conduct the ins-and-outs of our day jobs. From emailing clients to creative ideation, and everything in between, a desk has always had an intrinsic role to play in the success of our working day.
Did you know that a tidy, well-designed workspace can boost comfort and improve job satisfaction, whereas a disorganised environment can lead workers to become distracted, frustrated and stressed (PsychCentral). Well, the same goes for desks!
That’s right, a dull or dishevelled desk might negatively impact how we feel at work, and wreak havoc on our productivity levels as a result. Despite the crucial role they play in our work lives, it is easy to overlook the impact that they can have on how we approach our workload on any given day.
Putting some thought into building a workplace set up to ensure it is designed for promoting creativity and productivity (whether that’s at home or in the office), will only have positive implications for your job satisfaction.
We’ve curated a list of handy tips that you can implement into your workspace design to maximise productivity…
Stay clean and organised
Everybody has different working style, right down to how they prefer to organise their desk.
Although the ‘tidy’ layout may not be for everyone, it can be a brilliant way to boost efficiency and productivity. Keeping your desk orderly not only minimises distractions, but it enables you to quickly find documents which helps to improve focus on work, saves valuable time throughout the day and alleviates unnecessary stress.
Restore order to your workspace by investing in some handy stationary.
For more permanent set-ups, an in-tray and document holders. Just remember to take five minutes at the end of each day to reset the area, clearing away anything that’s no longer needed and reorganising your equipment so that you have a fresh desk to start work from the next day.
Stay Agile To Accommodate Your Needs
While the misconception is that desk set ups need to remain consistent, a well thought out desk will allow for flexibility to fit the task as hand.
At the start of each day or sprint, take time to consider what is going to be required of you, and adapt your setup to fit these needs.
For instance, if you’re in a creative role, make space for ideas to flow with a more open set up. You may prefer to situate yourself on a large, shared desk, so that you can easily bounce thoughts off those around you.
Whereas if you need to get your head down and crunch the numbers, a quiet booth or individual desk space may be better suited.
Not only is sitting in the dark bad for our eyes, it negatively impacts our satisfaction, often leading to feelings of stress and isolation.
Make sure to position your desk in good lighting, choosing a desk space close to natural light from windows, or well-accented by artificial light and lamps to ensure you aren’t left squinting at the screen. Natural light encourages positivity and improves productivity in the process.
Remember to exercise your eyesight too – research recommends that we should be looking away from our screens every 20 minutes to avoid eye strain.
Make It Personal
Research shows that the average UK adult spends 60% to 90% of their time indoors (AirRated) – and with many of us spending seven or eight hours of that time sat at a desk, it makes sense to ensure it’s an enjoyable place to be.
While our jobs may require us to be inside for extended periods, as humans we have an innate desire to be around nature and constantly being stuck at a desk can create feelings of stress, frustration, and restlessness.
A quick fix? Get yourself some house plants. Introducing foliage to your workspace has even been shown to boost memory as well as inspire creativity. Research from Exeter University even found that employees are 15% more productive when workspaces are filled with a few plants (Planteria).
Some easy to care for houseplants, that are guaranteed to add some personality to your desk include snake plants, spider plants and rubber plants (check out our other suggestions here).
Plants not your thing? Whether it’s a favourite coaster, picture frame or perhaps an aromatherapy diffuser, there are plenty of small and portable touches you can bring to your desk space to make it a more enjoyable place to be.
It sounds obvious, but if you’re uncomfortable at your desk then it’s tricky to be creative and focus properly on your tasks.
Back ache, sore wrists and neck pain are all common complains from desk workers, however some simple ergonomics can drastically improve this.
How many monitors do you need to successfully complete your job? In modern office set ups, it is more common to work from laptops, meaning second screens can become hot commodities.
Once you’re happy with your number of screens, make sure to check their height and brightness to ensure you are working with the correct posture, and without straining your eyes.
Ideally, your monitor should be about 20 inches away from you and positioned so that the top of it is just below eye level. When typing, your hands should be level with your elbows with straight wrists, and your chair should be height-adjustable with support for your back. A good desk chair, an external keyboard and mouse, and a footrest are all other great solutions.
To Sit or to Stand?
Standing desks have become all the rage since the pandemic, with many of us investing in flexible workspaces for our homes with the popularity of hybrid working still going strong.
Standing desks can help hack your productivity – and it is as simple as being on your feet! Not only is standing great for your circulation and blood pressure, the old ‘think on your feet’ adage suggests that standing helps us get things done.
Choose a desk that offers flexibility or can be retrofitted with adjustable screen stands that allow you to go from sitting to standing with ease and watch your productivity skyrocket as a result.
Setting up your desk sounds simple but in practise is an often overlooked productivity hack.
Luckily, Adapt’s range of workspaces are designed with wellbeing in mind, offering a mix of social spaces, private offices and meeting rooms, each well-appointed with bright, light décor, super-fast Wi-Fi, office plants and plenty of amenities to promote a healthy and working environment. No matter which type of office space you are looking for, we can adapt to whatever best suits you and your business. Find out which of our versatile workspace might be best for you here.