Most of us work better and smarter when our environment has been planned well; however, it sometimes feels that modern office solutions can be prohibitively expensive. Here are some low-cost, smart and simple productivity hacks from real small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Declutter and decorate
If you work from home or rent a small office, the smallest and most obvious changes will be the most notable, especially to your clients. Having a designated space for your work at home is important. Clear an area, even if it is just a single unit with a stool to sit on; pin inspiring quotes to the wall; and consider displaying your goals somewhere prominent to keep you motivated.
Green up your space
You do not have to invest in expensive, huge plants from garden centres. Bunches of wild flowers in jugs, vases or even jam jars will energise and soften the atmosphere simultaneously and will fill the office with scent, which can invigorate the mind and spark creativity. Just keep an eye open for hay fever sufferers!
A tiny communal garden – even just a few pots – can be a useful and inspiring team-building exercise and will encourage everyone to step outdoors at lunchtime, preventing cabin fever and bringing your team closer to nature. Research has shown that even images of plants are effective at boosting productivity, with natural imagery in hospitals and care homes correlated with better outcomes.
Mix it up
Instead of fixed desks, try to incorporate some movement into your office setup; for example, the clean energy company Perpetual V2G Systems has replaced its desks with pallets salvaged from the organic food business that has premises next door. Staff rearrange the pallets frequently to suit the projects they are working on, moving away from the classic static setup. Changing angles and levels between workspaces can boost productivity, as it allows the workstation to be customised according to the task at hand.
Personalise your space
Ethical sock-maker Stand4Socks has used surplus bamboo left over from its manufacturing process to make items such as vases and pencil holders for the office. This has helped the team to create a unifying brand presence, which is helpful whenever clients stop by. It is also a great example of how unique each office space can be and the importance of letting staff influence and build their own work space.
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