7 Ways to Create a Productive Workspace
By Toni Buffa | Published March 7, 2023
A good workspace can help you be more productive and focused. Here are seven tips for your home workspace: find a designated space, use natural light, add plants, keep the space clean and organized, stay close to a power source, keep essential supplies within reach, and personalize your space.
Creating a productive workspace is crucial whether you work from home, in an office, or a hybrid of both. A designated workspace can help you focus and increase productivity. In this article, I’ll provide seven tips for creating a productive space to meet your needs and help you get the most out of your work day.
1. Seek out a designated workspace in your home.
If you have the luxury of already having a spare room or den in your home, that is the perfect place to begin when setting up your workspace. Even if these extra rooms have already been established as guest rooms or some other area, this is your best option when setting up your workspace.
If there isn't a spare room to use, look around; what area of your house is out of the way from major distractions? And no, you can not choose your bed or couch as your designated workspace. Maintain separation between work and home as much as possible when choosing your space. In the past, personally, I have set up my workspace in a wide hallway, off to the side of my apartment, which leads to a utility closet. This space was a less trafficked part of my home and was free of distractions from the living room, kitchen, etc.
2. Include natural light.
Try to get as close to a window as possible. A 2018 study at Cornell University found that natural light from a window reduced eye strain, headaches, and drowsiness. This might be difficult if you are someone who may be setting up your work area in a den or a hallway (this was my main issue).
When tackling this step, there are many workarounds to keep your space well-lit. Avoid working only under an overhead light. This lighting may be harsh and cause headaches and migraines if you strain your eyes too much. The best option here is to invest in a floor or desk sun lamp. These lamps mimic natural light and positively impact serotonin and melatonin, which the sun gives you as well. The good news is these are easy to come by and not too expensive.
3. Add a little bit of green.
Office plants have been known to increase productivity and focus. In addition to adding the visual appeal of indoor plants, they have significant health benefits to offer. When natural elements are present, like plants, air quality is improved, and they can even eliminate air pollutants. If you have cats or dogs in your home, consider looking into what plants to avoid before picking out your houseplants. ASPCA has a running list of plants to avoid, which you can find in this article.
4. Keep your space clean and organized.
No matter where you set up your space, keeping it picked up and organized before, during, and after work is crucial. As for keeping the area clean, I like to use the “don’t put it down, put it away” method. For example, you get out some papers or a file to search for something specific, rather than putting it off to the side of your desk when finished, put it back in the filing cabinet so you don't clutter your desk with papers.
Staying organized in a new space can be tricky and trial and error sometimes. Some organization methods work better than others for different people. A few ways are using a daily planner, whiteboard, or online calendars like Google or Outlook, to keep track of the due dates of different tasks. There is a method we’ve talked about on our blog before, Calendar Blocking. When organizing your day, this method can be helpful to ensure you get to all the tasks you have on your plate each day.
5. Stay within the power source.
The last thing your home office needs is extension cords running wild! For aesthetic and functionality reasons, setting up near an outlet and possibly your Wi-Fi router will be very beneficial. There are different products that offer cord organization buckets that you could incorporate into your space too.
6. Keep essential supplies within reach to avoid getting up frequently.
To avoid getting up frequently and losing focus, keep necessary items close by. This could be your computer charger, a cup of pens and highlighters, a notepad, a journal, a planner, etc. Anything you deem necessary for a work day, bring it near your workspace.
7. Personalize your space.
Last but certainly not least, decorate your space! What makes you happy - start there. Photos of friends and family, a vision board for this year, a poster of your favorite artist or band, the options are endless and are completely up to you. Make your space your own, and get creative with it!
With these seven tips, you can create or recreate the space in your home that'll help you be your most productive self. You can make any of these tips your own and watch your office become a place you can be your best, most productive self!
Toni is a member of the Integrify marketing team and writes for the Integrify blog. Toni lives in Colorado and loves animals of all stripes.