Flexible workspaces—also called shared workspaces or co-working spaces—have become more popular in New Zealand over the years. This is due to a number of factors, including the desire for more agile real estate. The trend is also largely influenced by the worldwide shift towards more adaptable working schedules.
Another reason why flexible workspaces have become much sought-after is that being in one puts people in the company of like-minded individuals. This, in turn, can help boost productivity and even improve one’s mood. The creative desk layouts also give a bit more leeway when it comes to personalisation.
Many “traditional” offices can take inspiration from flexible workspaces in order to foster a more positive, productive working environment. Those who work from home can also benefit from taking a flexible workspace approach. Here are some tips to get you started:
Clean Things Up
A lot of flexible workspaces have an open office plan so that clutter has nowhere to hide. An unsightly, messy workplace can negatively affect a variety of things, including focus and stress levels. It can even trigger allergies and cause illnesses. In addition, an untidy workplace can turn off potential clients.
All of this is to say that a flexible workspace should be spic and span. Get rid of anything you don’t need so that it’s easier to organise each desk. You should also definitely hire professional cleaners. They can straighten your office quickly and efficiently, ensuring that it meets the highest cleanliness and hygiene standards.
With a clean workspace, productivity, positive culture, and work satisfaction will easily follow.
Section Your Desk
Your office desk is where you get most of your work done. As such, it’s only logical to keep it organised so you can work as seamlessly as possible. One way to do this is to create sections where you can perform different work-related activities.
For example, the centre can be your main workspace (where your laptop or desktop is situated), the left side can be where you handle paperwork, while the right can serve as your note-taking and brainstorming area.
Doing this can also help you condition your psyche for the kind of activity you’ll do so you can achieve better results.
Get a Good Chair
Flexible workspaces are all about boosting productivity, and you can’t be productive if you’re uncomfortable. With an ergonomic chair, this won’t be too much of an issue. Get one with lumbar support, along with adjustable heights and tilts to suit your needs. If your budget allows, consider one made of memory foam cushions.
Get a Better Desk
Along with a good chair, it’s also a great idea to upgrade your desk if possible. Space constraints notwithstanding, a good office desk is something that’s just at the right height. Having fewer front drawers (or none at all) is also ideal since this will give you more room for your thighs and knees.
Other features to look for include a spacious top, rounded corners for less risk of injuries, and sturdy construction. If it’s an option, find a standing desk or else a convertible one so you can adjust when you need to.
Optimise Desk Storage
Not every office, at home or otherwise, has a lot of space for individual desks. Thus, you have to be a little more creative at times so you can store what you need to store on your desk. One way is to put a small elevated shelf on your desk so you can place lightweight supplies such as pens, paper clips, and notepads.
Cord control is also necessary for smaller desks. Sometimes, it’s just a simple case of using cable ties. In others, it’s getting wireless peripherals like a cordless mouse and a Bluetooth keyboard. The fewer exposed wires there are, the cleaner and the bigger your space will look.
Add Some Greenery
At times, office decor can be a little too neutral. Spice up the surroundings a little by adding some plants. Some easy-care ones include pothos, asparagus fern (which is not really a fern), peace lily, and kalanchoe (a kind of succulent).
Aside from providing some extra bursts of colour, plants can also improve air quality in your space. They also make great visual resting spots for when your eyes are feeling the strain of looking at the monitor for too long.
Mind Your Space
COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of maintaining distance, at least in the physical sense, to help prevent the spread of disease.
However, beyond stopping potential epidemics, keeping some space for yourself can be good for your productivity and mental health. Sometimes, you just want to be left alone so you can focus on your tasks or to simply break away from the bustle. Putting some space between you and your colleagues can have this desired effect.
It’s also always a good idea to have a routine that can help you start the day right and help restore your focus. It can be anything, from enjoying a cup of coffee before dealing with your to-do list or spending 10 minutes of quiet time at your desk before turning on your computer.
If you work in an office, make sure to take your full break. That 5-minute difference between a 25-minute and a full 30-minute meal break can give you a bigger boost than you might think! Personally, you should strive to take at least a 15-minute rest every hour. Stand up, stretch your back and legs, or even just look away from your screen for a while. This can give you fresher eyes and approach your work with more energy.
Finally, having a flexible workspace also means being flexible when it comes to the way you work. Ultimately, it’s all about adapting to the ever-changing industry landscape.