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5 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

5 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

Like it or not, people will judge you by the appearance of your office. Whether you want to convince your clients to do business with you or if you wish to hire excellent employees, the state of your office plays an important role. The décor must be appealing, elegant and stylish for clients to believe in you.

Furnishing your office will take astute planning and a considerable amount of your time and money. Your office is not just a bunch of furniture, stationary and other things kept together. It is your home away from home. It is your companion on a journey towards your goal. You will probably spend more time at your office than at your home. And it’s not just yourself you have to take care of. Your employees become your responsibility and it is your duty to provide them a motivating ambiance.

Here are 5 things you should keep in mind while furnishing your office.

1. Get comfortable furniture

Let’s start with the essentials: desks and chairs. There is absolutely no doubt that desks and chairs are the most used pieces of furniture in any office. People spend most of their working hours sitting on chairs poring over some problem or simply handling the paperwork on their desks. It is. therefore. imperative to make sure you have comfortable desks and chairs that are nice to your body.

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Desks need to be big enough to hold computers, files and other necessary office items as well as personal items of the people using it. The desks should be of appropriate heights which depends upon the height of the person doing work as well as the nature of work the person is doing.

Chairs should be properly cushioned with proper backrest and armrest. Adjustable chairs that allow you to alter their height, tilt and recline are very useful as they can be easily modified according to users’ needs.

Uncomfortable desks and chairs can have severe effects on your health and induce long-term pains in your back, neck, arms and legs. Therefore, getting comfortable and cozy furniture should be a top priority for you.

2. Quality over price

As long as your business stays you will need your office. And you will want your business to run forever. So make sure you get good quality furniture that lasts long even if it costs you more. You will notice a substantial price difference between poor and better-quality items. But the cheaper goods usually come with a lot of risks– the legs on chairs break, desks become wobbly and the file cabinets fall apart. Simply put, they do not last long.

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Make sure to buy items that are made for heavy-duty use – Desks and chairs that last long, file cabinets that can actually hold files without breaking down and that survive for years.

If your budget is an issue then, search for good quality used furniture than buying cheap, new, lowly items. Buying expensive, durable furniture may seem an unnecessary financial burden at first, but it makes more economic sense in the long run.

3. Add a personal touch

A stylish office with a beautiful décor can send a strong positive message about your business to your clients giving you an advantage. But to truly capture a client’s interest, you should give a glimpse of what you and your business are all about.

Your office should be an extension of your personality. It should reflect your values; its décor should accentuate things that you believe. Paint your walls with bright, vibrant colors to give a sense of welcome. Hang portraits of people you admire. Buy and put artifacts that you love. Personalizing your office not only makes it unique from so many others but also helps you communicate a lot about what is important to you.

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Investing your hard-earned money, time and effort to make sure your office has a unique (and of course spectacular!) look is, therefore, very important.

4. Strive to create a serene environment

If you want to your employees to work peacefully, it is your job to create a calm environment. The ambiance around your office can have a great impact on you and other people working there.

There is no way you can have a productive session with clutter, commotion and bad lighting disturbing you into frustration. Offices should be designed so that most part, if not all, can receive natural lighting. If there is not enough natural lighting, artificial lighting with appropriate brightness should be available. A well-formed plan to manage huge piles of paper that are collected must be put in practice.

Keeping plants in office space can do wonders to keep a tranquil work environment. Plants can add beauty to the environment, reduce noise and stress among other things.

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5. Invest to keep things fun

Gone are the days when work and play were considered opposites. There has been a shift in the way people think about work – to be productive in work you need to be having fun.

Human beings quickly get bored with monotonous tasks and need a break from time to time. Making workplace fun not only motivates people to work harder and faster, it also makes them more happy and stress-free.

Workplaces in big corporations today have different facilities including gyms and spa to pamper their staffs. However, these facilities are not feasible for all. Making smaller but effective facilities like ping-pong tables, pool tables or massage chairs available can help people blow some steam off.

Furnishing your office is not just about buying furniture and filling up space. It is about creating an elegant appearance and a lively, vibrant ambiance. You together with the furniture you buy, the color you use on your walls, the art and photos you hang, the plants you keep and the employees that work for you build an entity that embodies your principles.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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