Go back to school in first gear this year and create a workspace that is conducive to productivity.
Maybe you have enrolled to study, or you want to set up the perfect space for a member of the family who will be writing exams for the first time this year. Here are some great ways to boost any workspace.
1. Get the right light
Whether you are setting up a new workspace or you are revisiting an old one – nothing beats natural light. It is ideal for creating a peaceful and bright atmosphere.
You may have experienced that long days spent at a poorly lit desk can lead to headaches and eye strain, but too much natural light can also be disruptive, especially when there is a sun glare on reflective surfaces. So, opt for matte finishes to minimise the possibility of reflections.
Light can be measured in lux and lumens. Lumens is the SI derived unit to measure the total quantity of light emitted by a source. Lux refers to the amount of light illuminating a subject. The recommended lux level for a desk is between 300 and 500, and nowadays you can use an application on your smartphone to measure it. But don’t go off the measurements alone. Use your eyes and really look at how the light comes into the room and how it travels.
2. Move your monitor
Sitting for hours on end at a monitor that is not at the most ergonomic height can cause immense discomfort. Adjust the monitor height so that your eyes only look down slightly. Position the top of the screen at, or slightly below eye level.
Your monitor should be about an arms’ length away. If you want to measure it – leave approximately 51 cm between your eyes and the screen, and make sure you have a comfortable seat with great lumbar support.
3. Go green
Place a plant on your desk or ensure that you can see one from where you sit. Having plants around your workspace or office can reduce stress and increase productivity.
Plants also clean the air, and they absorb sounds, so, they can help to reduce noise levels.
Not all plants will love to live where you work, and you need to consider light availability and how often they need to be watered.
4. Cut the clutter
Sit at your desk and look at the stuff lying around which you can see in your near visual field. This clutter causes some serious, neural competition for attention. If there are items you can put away or do not need on the desk, consider packing it away to reduce distraction.
You don’t have to spend much to keep things tidy around your workspace. Raid your kitchen for handy containers to keep all your stuff organised. Make sure everything has a dedicated spot so that it is easier to clean things when they are lying around.
A great idea is to keep a basket or small container around your home office or workspace. In here you can keep all the goodies that end up in your workspace but do not have a dedicated place to live there. This can be anything from keys to nail polish. Once a week or at the end of every day, clear out the miscellaneous basket.
5. Dampen the distractions
Noise can cause some severe distraction, and unlike visual ones, you can’t just look the other way. Background noises can stress the brain and affect learning and higher brain functions.
Invest in noise-cancelling headphones and try to listen to music that helps you to work. You can also opt for earplugs to cancel out noise in your workspace.