Increase the Productivity in Your Office Space in NJ by Getting Your Desks Right
If you’re in an industry where you (and your employees) need to do most work at a desk, it’s very important that your desks are designed with comfort and productivity in mind. As a commercial real estate company that helps businesses find office space in NJ, Blau & Berg has seen thousands of offices around the state, and knows what it takes to build an office that has high productivity.
In this article, we want to talk about getting desks right – why it’s important, and how you should go about doing it.
Downsides of having an uncomfortable desk
A poorly-designed desk can have many problems – some of which include:
Sitting hunched over a low desk, or typing at one where your arm’s in an uncomfortable position will lead to pain. Since your team needs to do the same job every day, this can cause long-term problems such as chronic pain and other ailments.
If the desk is not comfortable, the sitter will be straining their body in some form while they’re sitting at it. This will cause fatigue, which is undesirable at a business location. You want your employees to be enthusiastic and happy, not tired and lifeless.
Loss of concentration
The pain and fatigue will be a constant distraction, causing people to shift their position to try and get more comfortable. This will make it hard for them to concentrate on what they’re doing. Think of it as having constant notifications on your phone.
Your employees will be unhappy and tired after a day’s work, and they won’t look forward to the next day. This is a bad situation to have at your office.
If the desk is at a bad height or has a weird angle, the computer (or paperwork) may not sit ideally on the counter top, causing eye strain. This can in turn lead to a whole host of problems – headaches are just the beginning.
As a result of all the problems mentioned above (and several others that we haven’t mentioned for the sake of brevity), your office will have lower productivity than is optimal. So, to keep output high at your office space in NJ, it’s important that your employees have good desks.
In the next section, we’ll tell you how to avoid these problems by getting your desks right. Now, we realize that it’s not possible for small businesses to build new furniture – especially if they have existing furniture that they’d like to use. So while we’ll share some tips for creating the perfect desk, the majority of our tips will be focused on improving existing desks to make them more comfortable.
Optimizing a desk for comfort
First things first, you need to make tweaks to make sure the desks are comfortable. Here are some tips that’ll help you with that process:
Have smooth edges
Does the desk have sharp edges? That isn’t just uncomfortable, it could actually be dangerous. If someone falls onto a corner face-first, they could potentially hurt themselves rather badly. And employees have to work at the desk all day, probably with their arms resting on the surface and with the edges digging into their skin. This isn’t healthy, let alone comfortable. Smooth out rough edges by installing a foam or rubber pad. If the desk is placed against a wall, you’ll only have to do this on three sides.
Arm and wrist comfort
Mayo Clinic suggests: “Place your mouse within easy reach and on the same surface as your keyboard. While typing or using your mouse, keep your wrists straight, your upper arms close to your body, and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce extended mouse use.”
Avoid laptop keyboards
If your employees at your office space in NJ use laptops for working, you should provide a separate keyboard. That’s because laptop keyboards aren’t ideal for heavy typing, and the keyboard is at an awkward angle, so when you’re using the keyboard the screen isn’t at eye height, and when you’re looking at the screen the keyboard’s too high.
Prevent eye strain
Woman’s Day shares some tips: “Craning your neck or moving your head to see what’s on your computer screen can cause everything from tension headaches to blurred vision. You can move your eyes to see the first line of type on your monitor, but if you have to move anything else, readjust.”
The monitor should be about an arm’s length away from the worker – which is roughly 20 inches. To adjust the monitor’s height, use a monitor stand, or get an adjustable chair.
Avoid standing desks
It’s good to think about your employees’ health, but also consider their comfort. Standing at a desk and working for hours on end won’t be comfortable. Your employees will be tired and annoyed, and they may suspect you’ve done it so you don’t have to buy chairs. You don’t want that sort of thought entering the minds of your workforce, so encourage them to get some exercise in other ways.
Optimizing a desk for productivity
A business relies heavily on a productive workforce and on high output. So it’s understandable that your key interest would be in getting maximum productivity. We listed comfort tips first, because that’s a key step in making sure your workforce is more productive. Here, however, are some tips that’ll help you maximize productivity:
Make sure the desk is habit-friendly
In order to be productive, you need to be able to get into a rhythm. You can’t do that if something in or on your desk gets in the way – literally or otherwise. So make sure things like cables, stationery and other essential items are within reach, but out of the way. If your employees constantly find themselves readjusting something, consider fixing it.
Have good lighting
From Makeuseof: “Long-term exposure to artificial lighting can lead to mood and productivity issues. It can even contribute to seasonal affective disorder (“winter depression”). Natural light plays an important role in mental health, so don’t neglect the position of your desk relative to the windows in your office.
Whether your work desk is under natural or artificial light, you should make sure that your screen brightness matches the brightness of ambient light. Lots of light around you? Brighter screen. Not so much light? Darker screen. This will prevent eye strain, which can lead to computer fatigue and deadened productivity.”
Scatter some plants around the space
Plants may not seem like something that’d boost productivity, but they do! They give you something to look at, so when you’re having a look around you can focus on an aesthetically appealing plant instead of ranks of cubicles. Then there’s the fact that plants add some color and interest to a space, making it look more balanced. We’re all about avoiding clutter, but even minimalism can go too far.
Organization tips for your desks
Here are some tips for organizing the desks at your office space in NJ. Encourage your employees to follow these tips, and find ways to enforce them so your workforce can be more organized and focused.
From Makeuseof: “The messier your workspace, the more mental energy is required to process all of that messiness, and that mental energy detracts from your other tasks…As a rule of thumb, if you use it every single day, then it can stay on your desk. Otherwise, stash it away in a drawer or cabinet and pull it out as needed. Keep a trash bin next to your desk so you can effortlessly toss waste.”
If your employees deal with paperwork, provide a systematic filing system so they don’t have to look at heaps of paper on their desk every day.
Remove temptation or distractions
If your employees are working at home due to the virus situation, this will be especially relevant. Makeuseof explains: “It can be hard to be totally productive when something more interesting, like a book, TV, or games console, is right nearby. If possible, move these distractions into another room so you’re less tempted. This should include your phone, providing you don’t need it for work—otherwise, you might see a flashing notification and get pulled away.”
Need help finding the perfect office space in NJ?
Productivity and comfort are influenced heavily by the desks your employees work at, but that’s just one factor. The first, most important factor that’ll affect productivity at your office is the office space itself. Whether it’s well-situated, spacious, well-built, etc. will influence your business for the entire time you’re there.
So if you’re moving to a new location or expanding, get in touch with Blau & Berg to find the perfect office space in NJ. We are experienced professionals who’ve worked with thousands of clients, and we keep a number of factors in mind when suggesting a property to a client.