6 Environmental Factors That Can Influence Your Productivity
Productivity is a difficult beast to manage, no matter what your career may be. It’s often about striking a balance and identifying whatever hampers your productivity.
Your work environment could be one culprit. “Employees who enjoy and like the environments they are a part of will be more engaged, productive, happy, and healthy,” says Jacob Morgan of Forbes, citing numerous studies that explore the positive correlation between work environment and employee productivity.
Organizations and individuals can take productivity into their own hands by improving the environment. Here are some suggestions.
1. Change the Temperature
According to studies, the ideal temperature for an office is 71 degrees. Temperatures lower than that decrease productivity dramatically, and when the thermometer climbs above 75 degrees, employees become so uncomfortable, productivity is a struggle.
Set the thermostat to a company-agreed temperature of between 71 and 74 degrees, and avoid the temptation to turn it up or down to save a few bucks.
2. Let Some Light In
Natural light is a huge boost for employees who need sunshine to stave off mental health issues like depression. Workers placed next to a window through which light shines tend to work more productively and avoid mental health issues that inhibit their psychic energy.
Switch our your blackout curtains or Venetian blinds for light-filtering cellular shades or curtains. You’ll appreciate the visual appeal of the update while enjoying a dependable flow of light.
3. Eat Healthy Snacks
Many of us tend to snack on highly processed sugars and carbs rather than giving our bodies the brain food it really needs. “Instead of sugar, it’s better to have good fats and proteins throughout the day as well as carbohydrates,” Clare Kumar, a productivity expert, told Bustle.
Switching to the good stuff will help you combat the highs and lows of sugar that can inhibit productivity. Kumar also recommends drinking a lot of water, since fatigue and focus problems are often driven by mild dehydration.
4. Adjust the Noise
Some people work best in absolute silence. Others are driven crazy by it. Find what works best for you and/or your workers and make that happen.
If you need quiet, but your office tends to bustle, plug in headphones and turn on classical music or other soothing tones to help you relax. If you need people around but you’re alone, turn on a recording of coffee shop noises or the muted buzz of chatter.
These white noise tools can be surprisingly effective in boosting productivity. When broadcast through the office, they can also help overly chatty employees focus on their own work so you can do yours.
5. Switch Up Your Seat
A good chair can make it easier to get work done, while an old, uncomfortable chair would be distracting. The latter can cause back pain and force constant shifting, which distracts you from your work.
Invest in a quality, ergonomic chair that supports your back and neck and allows you to work without distraction. Not only will this make for a better workplace experience, but it will help you live a longer, healthier life, according to studies.
6. Seclude Yourself
Offices are becoming increasingly more open in an effort to increase collaboration. It usually works, but it can also stifle productivity when a person needs to work on a solo project.
“Open concept offices have an unprecedented level of interaction and distraction which sabotages deep thinking work,” says Kumar. “You need to have strategies around focused and productive work time. Schedule it into your calendar and make sure your environment allows you to complete that. That could mean headphones when you’re at your desk or relocating to a quiet place.”
Taking productivity into your own hands is a matter of assessing your environment and making it more conducive to your workflow. Experiment with various factors to help you relax and focus while you work.
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