5 Ways Your Desk Layout Could Be Hurting Your Productivity

Is your productivity affected by your desk layout? Absolutely. The environment you work in each day has a large impact on your work output, your comfort and your resilience. In this post, we’ll look at five ways your desk layout could be hurting your productivity.

1. Ergonomic Problems

When your desk is set up in a way that makes your body uncomfortable, your productivity will take a hit.

Your monitor should be in front of you at eye-level. If it’s too low, prop it up on a stand to get it to the right height. Your monitor should also be about 17-inches away from your body. If you’re right-handed, put frequently used items on your right side, and do the opposite if you’re left-handed. Reaching across your body to answer the phone or grab a pen causes unnecessary discomfort and distraction.

2. Not Enough Privacy

Open-office layouts have some advantages, but they’re not great for productivity. If your employees’ desks face each other or they don’t have a personal workspace, they won’t be able to focus as well as they would if they had personal, private desk space.

You can create personal spaces around your employees’ desks by bringing in portable partitions. These privacy screens will cut down on noise and allow your workers to concentrate better on their own personal tasks.

3. Too Many Knick-Knacks

It’s nice to have some personal items on your desk at work, but too many pictures, souvenirs and other trinkets can actually hurt your productivity.

These items can be distracting, and they can also take up precious workspace on your desk. Not only do knick-knacks take up precious workspace, but they also have an effect on our mental acuity. Whether or not we realise it, our brain processes information about every item we see. So having a clutter-free desk can actually free up your brain for processing information about the task at hand. Choose just two or three meaningful personal items to keep on your desk at work.

4. Careless Desk Arrangements

It pays to spend some time figuring out how to configure the desks in your office. Not only do you need to use your space efficiently, but you also need to arrange the desks in ways that facilitate productivity and comfort for your employees.

First of all, which employees should be placed near each other? Some employees need to collaborate more than others, so it’s helpful to place teams of workers near each other. However, if you’re hoping to increase innovation and experimentation in your company, you might want to think about shaking things up.

Professor Christian Catalini from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School found that when scientists have shuffled around to different buildings because of an asbestos problem, the shake-up produced some interesting breakthroughs. This strategy could be applied to your office by moving desks and workspaces to new locations.

5. Inadequate Lighting and Supplies

One of the most important factors for staying focused and motivated is good lighting. Dark spaces actually cause people to feel sluggish and depressed. Inadequate lighting also leads to headaches, eyestrain and overall irritability.

If the overhead lighting in your office is subpar, consider bringing in desk lights as a supplement. Natural light is excellent, but you may need to rethink window coverings in order to maximise its effectiveness.

It’s also important to make sure your desk is stocked (but not overstocked) with the supplies you use on a daily basis. You don’t want to have to interrupt your workflow by having to get up and go to a supply closet several times each day, but you also don’t want to treat your desk as a supply closet. Don’t stuff your desk drawers and files with items that you don’t use on a regular basis.

Here at Portable Partitions, we have many different products to help you design an office that increases your overall productivity as well as the comfort of your individual employees. For more information about our office partitions, or to speak with one of our design experts, get in touch with us today.