Making Your Workspace Work for You

Did you know that workspace design affects productivity? In fact, in one study, 97% of professionals said that the current design drained their ability to focus to some extent, while 46% of them described the existing design as ‘impacting heavily’ on their productivity[i].

“Regardless of whether you’re working at an office, learning in a school or doing either from home, the way your workspace is designed is crucial,” says Tim Harris, Founder of TimHarris Design, a design-focussed, client-centric, creative studio offering bespoke solutions to individuals and brands in the disciplines of spatial, furniture and graphic design.

He shares some design suggestions to help you make your workspace work for you:

  • Keep your desk clear: Clutter impedes productivity. Not only can it be distracting, but a study by the National Association of Productivity and Organising Professionals has revealed that it can even lead to financial losses equivalent to approximately 10% of a manager’s salary. Having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place helps. A shelving system above your desk, for instance, can help you keep it clear and ensure that any clutter is out of your eyeline as the more things you see, the harder it is for your brain to decide what to focus on[ii].  

  • A nod to nature: According tothe Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace study, people who work in spaces with natural features reported 15% higher levels of overall wellbeing. Respondents also expressed feeling 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work. Incorporating natural elements can even buffer the relationship between role stressors and job satisfaction, depressed mood, and anxiety[i].

  • The right light: It has been scientifically proven that lighting can have a significant effect on efficiency and work productivity. But it’s not only the type of lighting (i.e., natural vs artificial) that affects employees it’s also the colour temperature. An article published by the University of North Carolina revealed that light sources with a cooler temperature (e.g., cooler blue and white lights) make workers more productive whereas warmer ones (e.g., yellow or orange lights) are better suited to relaxing. In addition to illuminating your workspace with cooler light sources, you should also use task lighting to further enhance productivity[i].

“As we’re getting into the swing of the new year and as we head back to work and school, now is the best time to relook your design choices and ensure that they are conducive to success,” concludes Harris.

For more information, or to purchase any of the setups in the TimHarris Design collection, go to https://www.timharris.co.za.

[1] https://www.propertygroup.co.nz/assets/Office-space-whitepaper-Final-low-res.pdf

[1] https://www.jneurosci.org/content/31/2/587

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4877070/ [1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44068639_Task_lighting_effects_on_office_worker_satisfaction_and_performance_and_energy_efficiency

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