7 Tips for a More Productive and Healthier Work Place

By: Katie Anderson
March 1, 2019

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An Interior Designer Shares What Works Best for Her Clients

If you work from a home office or if you are a business owner with a commercial office space there are many interior design techniques that can be implemented to make your working environment a more productive and healthier place to work.

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Tip #1: Quality of Your Office Furniture

There are two reasons that you should go for quality rather than price every time when purchasing office furniture and equipment.

  1. Investing in quality for items you not only use every day but also depend upon for your livelihood will create better quality of life in general.  If office items you purchase are made to only last 2 years or less then it is not a benefit.  Things that wear out quickly or stop functioning properly and need continued replacement is not cost effective. It also becomes a distraction from the irritation that ensues from working with objects that are falling apart or worn out. Buy quality every time for everything you need to do your job.
  1. Your office space is part of your business brand. What you surround yourself with reflects back, affecting how you feel about your product or services and thus the very important first impression you give to your customers. If your work space is full of cheap or broken furnishings and is disorganized what does that say about who you are and what your business provides?  A quality business environment also attracts a higher quality client.

Tip #2: Achieve Maximum Efficiency

Space planning, space planning, space planning!

Optimization of your work space according to tasks is imperative to achieve efficiency.

Place your main working area away from daylight glare emanating from windows, keep items frequently needed within immediate reach.  Printer paper and ink/laser cartridges should be housed in the same area as the printer rather than on the other side of the room.  The office is not where you need to increase your steps for the day if you want greater efficiency.

Create a “home” for everything you use and always return it to the same place.  Time is wasted having to look for that _______(insert the item you can’t always find) every time you need it and can’t find it because it is not where it is supposed to be.  Labeling or color coding where items belong on shelves and inside cabinetry is helpful.  Again, keep to your system and return materials/tools to the same place to be able to find it again in a pinch.

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Tip #3: Health and Productivity

The best way to ensure productivity is to have good physical health.  Aside from going to bed an hour earlier and getting more sleep, there are several ways to make your working environment more supportive of your overall health.

Tip #4: Prevent Body Pain

Invest in a sitting/standing desk….then use it, your lower back and hips will thank you!  Be sure to accompany the desk with a high density foam/rubber standing mat.  Most standing desk vendors now offer this product as an additional purchase.  Your feet, legs and calves will thank you!

I keep a timer on my desk that goes off every two hours to let me know it’s time to either sit or stand.  I can self-report that the first month I started doing this I lost 6 pounds and I’ve kept it off.  Just sayins.

Tip #5: Use Proper Lighting to Prevent Headaches

Poor lighting and light glare are often the culprits creating frequent headaches in the work environment.  Many people don’t realize that their interiors do not have sufficient or enough light sourcing, leading to stark contrasts of light (light & dark areas), creating eye strain that results in headaches.

The optimum type of lighting is one that layers varied light sources (down, up, indirect) creating ambient light that is free of shadows and glare while giving enough illumination to see in comfort.  If in doubt, invest in a lighting design from a professional, it’s a business tax exemption however, the true value is the effect of improved health.

The use of electronic equipment creates a greater amount of positive ions in the surrounding air, which also increases the incidence of headaches.  A passive approach to neutralizing this effect is to pepper your work space with live indoor plants.  Plant life produces an “exhaust” byproduct of respiration of negative ions.  Two largish plants or several smaller ones (depending on the square footage of your space) should do the job nicely.  If you don’t have cats then I recommend Peace Lilies. (Anything in the lily family is toxic to cats.)  They are great office plants requiring little tending other than water and live quite well under artificial light sources.

If plants are not your thing or if your cats chew everything no matter what then invest in a negative ion generator.  There are many makes and models to choose from online.

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Tip #6: What Color Are Your Office Walls?

People may have heard of actors being given a “green room” to prepare before a performance or a talk show.  The reason is that color has been studied and proven to have an overall physiological & emotional effect on everyone.  The color green (many hues) has both a calming and creative stimulating effect on the brain.  The color blue (also many hues) affects focus and assertiveness in people, great for an office environment whether at home or a commercial business.

Correct lighting is needed to support any color choice as light is what expresses color.  For an office environment I recommend bulbs with a 3000K (kelvin) temperature and a CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 90+. Invest in a lighting plan by hiring a professional to create ambient light so that there are no shadows or glare, both of which often cause eye strain and headaches.

Tip #7: Find Your Inspiration

Everything you buy or place in your working space should be beautiful to you.  Surround your working space with anything that you find supportive of your business/life vision that sparks inspiration.

It can be artwork or items collected from your travels. aiding focus, reminding you of your supreme power to achieve your dreams. Objects purchased or found, postcards, spiritual reminders or sayings in gorgeous calligraphy, etc.  Make your own vision board and keep it in your sight line while you work.

Arrange your lovelies so that they are the first thing you see when you enter your work space and the last thing you see when you leave.  This will boost your confidence and resolve to achieve your business goals for the rest of the day and into your sleeping dreams at night.

Interior Design Help in San Francisco

These are my favorite and proven tips to help you be more productive and healthier at work. I have had the pleasure of helping small and large companies adjust their interiors to increase how their employees feel and work.

If you need help or would like to learn more, give me a call at 415-722-9124. You can also email me using the contact form by clicking here.