On a day by day basis, there are different factors that help us to do our work more productively or hinder us from working to the best of our ability and capacity.
Interestingly, many of these factors are subtle, but they can make a huge difference in how well we work. This true whether we’re in employment or we’re running our own business or other endeavour.
One such factor is our work environment.
So, where do you work?
By asking that question, I don’t mean to know the name or address of your organisation. I’m asking about your direct work environment- the place or corner from where you get most of your work done.
Your work environment is an important but often undermined factor in your daily work and it has more to do with the output of your work than you may realise.
Creating and maintaining a productive work environment goes a long way in affecting your mood, your emotions and even your cognitive ability. All these determine the quality of your work and how fast you work. For this reason, it is in your best interest to create an ideal work environment that enables you to perform optimally rather than hinder your work performance.
Here are three easy steps to create a more productive work environment:
First Step: Deliberately observe and take stock of your current work environment.
How would you describe your regular work environment? What does it look like? Is the room dark or bright? Is your desk orderly or cluttered? Is your chair comfortable? Do you share your workspace with quiet or talkative people? Is the place cold or warm? Do you sit down a lot or move around a lot? Are your coworkers hostile or warm? Are they plenty of interruptions during the work day? Do you get a lot of chit-chat, phone-calls or visits?
Second Step: Reflect on the effect of your current environment on the work you do.
Your environment affects your psyche and your energy which in turn affects your work. At this point, you need to determine how your environment (as you found it out to be in step 1 above) helps or drains your ability to work.
For example, all the chit-chat and interruptions may bother you or steal more time from you than you realised. Or, perhaps your desk is usually so cluttered that you feel overwhelmed and drained even at the beginning of the day.
Third Step: Take action to create a better environment.
Now that you have found out the effect of your environment on your work, do you need to change? Of course, they may be a limit to how you can change things especially if you work in a shared space.
Even if you could many things at once, it is best to make gradual changes. You may just need to speak with a couple of coworkers about their interruptions or turn your phone on silent mode. You may need declutter your desk, change your chair or change your working area if possible. You may even make a small but significant change by bringing in a lovely scent to keep the air constantly fresh.
Like it is said, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I changed my workstation and the effect was huge. It helped me to shift my mind into ‘serious work mode’ and my productivity increased. This was no small feat for me.
If you would like to increase your performance and productivity, take these simple steps to determine what needs to be changed and how you can make the changes happen as soon as you can.