We tend to think that our education and attitude have the most significant impact on the quality of our work. But researchers are increasingly finding that it has more to do with the environment in which we work. Our office space, or the environment in which we work, is what appears to have the biggest impact.
The good news is that if you are somebody who works from home, you have plenty of opportunities to craft your office in any way that you like. You can adjust the lighting and decor according to the latest science, maximising your productive potential.
Do you want to improve your office so that you can work better? If so, please take a look at the following factors that subtly influence how much work you’ll get done.
How to improve your office for increased productivity
Add low-volume music
For years, researchers and workplace design experts have wondered whether music can have a positive effect on the amount of work that people get done in the day. Evidence now suggests that it does - and by quite a margin.
The trick here, however, is to choose music that you like. If an employee doesn’t like the soundtrack in a traditional office, it can actually LOWER their overall productivity. Thus the music you choose for a productive day should, ideally, be gentle and something that you like.
Low volume music appears to stimulate parts of the brain involved in both conscious and unconscious decision-making, helping people to feel more relaxed but also alert. Try it for yourself and see if it makes a difference.
Improve air quality
The quality of the air in your office isn’t something that you can detect just by sniffing it, but it can have a profound impact on your work. When air quality is reduced because of pollution, research suggests that it can lower productivity by between 6 and 9 per cent - a considerable amount.
So what the solution here? If you work in a rural location with plenty of fresh air, then you’re probably okay already. If, though, you work in a busy city with a street outside, then you might want to invest in air purifiers and filters. You don’t have to do it all over your home - just your office space. It could make a big difference in the amount of work you get done.
Experiment with the colour
The colour of an office can, in some situations, have a profound effect on your morale. Large corporations often use the colour blue, for instance, because it helps workers feel more mentally stable and de-stress, even when clients are shouting at them down the phone.
You might want to experiment with different colours to settle on one that helps to make you more productive in your workspace. You may find that yellow, lilac, grey or orange helps you the most, depending on the kind of work that you do.
Studies suggest that adding plants might be able to boost productivity by a whopping 15 per cent. Evoking natural scenery appears to naturally put people at ease, help stabilise their mood, and put them in the “work mind-set.” Try it for yourself to see if it makes a difference.