Some people prefer controlled chaos, while others need nothing more than a laptop and coffee.
The state of your work environment largely depends on the nature of your work and personal preferences. However, just because you have everything you want within arm’s reach doesn’t mean your workspace enables you to be as productive or efficient as possible.
Factors like ergonomics and lighting can significantly impact your ability to focus.
To be sure you are getting the most out of the time you spend at your workplace or home desk — or both — consider making these changes:
1. Avoid glare
Glare causes eyestrain — which can lead to headaches, blurred vision and difficulty concentrating.
To reduce glare, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends turning your computer monitor away from windows.
If you don’t have the luxury of changing your computer’s positioning, put an anti-glare or privacy filter on your screen. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, the Oregon OSHA notes you can tape cardboard around your monitor to reduce glare.
2. Light the room blue
Using your phone or computer before bed can keep you awake. Studies have found that the cool, blue-hued light emitted by the screens of such electronics can suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
While that blue light isn’t conducive to bedtime reading, it can certainly help you with work. Studies show that blue light can increase alertness for both day- and night-shift workers.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers behind one recent such study recommend using a blue light-emitting lamp. The Philips goLITE BLU energy light is an example of this type of product.
3. Organize your space
Controlled chaos comes at a cost: time spent searching for misplaced or missing items — and the stress that can come with that chore.
Also, make sure you arrange desk accessories efficiently. Keep the things you use most often within arm’s reach. Store items you need only occasionally in a drawer or beyond arm’s reach.