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Ways Your Office Space Can Improve Productivity

Today, people are under pressure from the size of their workloads to the amount of information they handle, said Beatriz Arantes, senior researcher at Steelcase, Turnstone’s parent company. Add to that, the number, variety and location of people worked with and the demand to be “on” most of the time, and you’ve got a pressure cooker. Employees average nearly 6 hours a day sitting at their office desks, according to Work & Health Research Centre, Loughborough University. Workplace stress costs businesses $300 billion per year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.

You don’t have to break the bank to improve your work environment. Having a positive state of mind helps employees do their best work, Arantes said. Small changes can make big differences in productivity and positivity, said Liz Wilkes, CEO at Exubrancy, which provides wellness programs for corporations.

Here are seven ways to improve productivity in the office:
Open office space with large windows as man and woman work at Bivi Table for Two workspace.Connect Bivi Tables for Two and create a group workspace that supports both individual and collaborative work. Also pictured, Bivi Depot provides storage for employees to keep their personal belongings tucked away.
1. Let there be light
The importance of catching some rays cannot be overstated, said Wilkes. She cited research report after research report.

Natural light significantly increases energy, creativity, and productivity, according to research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Workers exposed to natural lighting stayed on-task for 15% longer than their sun-deprived counterparts.
People who aren’t exposed to direct sunlight lose an average of 46 minutes of sleep at night, according to research by Northwestern University in Chicago. You don’t need to be Arianna Huffington to know the importance of a good night’s sleep and the consequences if you don’t get it.
If your desk doesn’t have a direct window view, make sure to take a walk during the day. You can also invest in a lamp that imitates natural light, suggest Wilkes. These lamps reduce seasonal depression, reduce fatigue, and improve moods, research finds. Make sure you get the most practical office tools available, check out this cougar paper deal.

Blue Bivi Tackable Screen attached to Bivi table creates privacy among workspaces for focused workEstablish privacy between workstations and minimize distractions with Bivi Tackable Screens allowing employees to decorate the screen with personal notes and pictures.
2. A stitch in time saves nine
An ergonomic workspace design can reduce physical problems such as carpal tunnel syndromes, back aches and neck pain, said Wilkes. Some ergonomic best practices from the Mayo Clinic:

Center your body in front of your monitor and keyboard. Sit up straight, keeping your thighs horizontal with your knees and at about the same level as your hips. Keep your forearms level or tilted up slightly.
Adjust the height of your office chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor and your knees are about level with your hips. If your chair doesn’t offer lumbar support, place a cushion between the curve in your lower back and the back of the chair.
If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, use a headset rather than cradling the phone between your head and neck. Experiment with various styles until you find the headset that works best for you.
Use a wrist rest to minimize stress on your wrists and prevent awkward wrist positions. While typing, hold your hands and wrists above the wrist rest. During typing breaks, rest the heels or palms of your hands — not your wrists — on the wrist rest.
Place your monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length—generally 18 to 28 inches—away. The top of the screen should be slightly below eye level.

Woman reading in open lounge space across from Bassline’s Standard Table and Bivi Rumble SeatDesign a modern lounge space in your office. Bivi Rumble Seats offer soft and comfortable lounge seating while Bassline Standard Tables add an elegant place for decor to rest.
3. Use color to set the tone
Color matters. Choose the colors for your office wisely, said Wilkes. She cited highly-regarded color psychologist Angela Wright for these pointers:

blue stimulates clear thought
yellow boosts creativity and lifts spirits
red physiologically affects the body and elevates one’s pulse
green creates a sense of calming balance
saturated, bright colors stimulate
softer, muted colors relax and soothe
If you can’t control the color of your office, choose accents such as office accessories or art in colors that create the work environment you want, said Wilkes.

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