Whether you’re working out of a home office like me or a traditional office environment, your desk is more than just something to hold your computer and shove your paperwork. My new office and G Plan desk have been a real game-changer for me – more productive and focused as how you set up and decorate your desk can directly affect your health and also your productivity at work. So what’s the optimum way to set up your workspace?
Light is very important in our everyday lives. It can affect our energy levels and our moods. Harsh lighting when you’re working can cause headaches and eye strain. Wherever possible, get natural light into your workspace, but try not to sit with your back to a window, where the sun can cause glare on your monitor. If you have to sit with your back to a window, make sure you have some way to close the blinds or curtains. I have wooden slatted Venetian blinds which are ideal as I can change how much light comes in.
Of course, there’s not always an abundance of natural light when we’re working so you’re going to need some good LED lamps to light your workspace well. Position any lamps so that the bottom of the shade is about level with the bottom of your face. This will mean that it is low enough not to be in your eyes but still able to highlight whatever you’re working on.
Choose The Perfect Desk
The perfect height for a desk will differ slightly for most people. You should be able to type with your arms parallel to the ground. Your legs should be comfortably under the desk, with enough room to be able to cross them should you wish to. If the desk is a little high, buy a footrest.
A lot of people choose standing desks or adjustable desks in order to combat the effects of sitting down all day. Long periods of inactivity can lead to aches and pains, weight gain and higher levels of poor health.
Invest In Some Greenery
Having some plants around the office can be good for your mood and productivity levels. That’s right, the humble plant can increase your productivity levels by up to 15 per cent. If you aren’t the most green-fingered of people, go for something like a succulent or peace lily which can withstand all but the most determined of plant killers.
Declutter Your Desk
Some people argue that having an untidy desk is a sign of creativity or high intelligence. For most people though, a desk that is poorly organised and piled high with paper will only distract you from your job and add extra time to your tasks. You don’t have to go completely minimalist, but it helps to have as much clutter and materials stored out of sight. Keep items you use most often in drawers closest to you and have a cable management system tidy up errant wires. For the vintage fans out there, I use a vintage lunch box for my receipts, a Habitat album holder for my paperwork that I need to keep to hand and a small West German plant pot for my pens.
Office or home office, a poorly set up desk can affect performance and health, which is why it is worth taking the time to get it right. The benefits can really change the way you work and how you feel day to day.
Then when you have got that right, if in a home office, you can have fun with other accessories and hang 1960s wallpaper on the walls!