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How Your Physical Work Environment Affects Your Mo

09 November 2022

Most of us spend a large part of our days working either in an office or other form of the work environment. For office workers, statistics suggest that most spend up to 10 hours a day tending to the various tasks and requirements of the job. As such, the work environment will inevitably influence you in several ways; when optimized correctly, it can be a strong motivator and source of inspiration. However, if the rigors of factors in your office environment go unchecked, the result can affect different aspects of your well-being in devastating ways.

At the heart of any organization are the employees tasked with ensuring it is smoothly run, day in and day out. As an employee, you are essential to the company you work at. If your employers understand your value, they will take every possible measure to ensure you can perform tasks assigned to you with minimal strain. If your well-being is compromised, your performance may take a hit as you cannot hit the levels of productivity you once did. At a glance, the reasons can vary from physical pain to emotional distress, which can have tremendous effects on your work and even your personal life.

Generally, the more stressed you feel, the less productive you will be, as per a 2021 study that investigated the effects of workspaces on workers. As mental disorders continue to rise, it is even more crucial to ensure your work environment is conducive. From problematic co-workers to overreaching expectations from superiors, your work surroundings can considerably impact your productivity and well-being in general. With declined productivity, the firm you work for can also suffer significantly because of your inability to sufficiently complete tasks and potentially at a high financial cost.

Aside from the ones mentioned above, other factors, such as the physical work environment, can also affect your productivity, with the surroundings of some jobs posing a higher risk than others. As such, employers must take comprehensive measures regarding your physical environment to ensure there are no obstacles between you and an "employee of the month" award. While some obstacles can be blatant, some may require you to look closer because they can easily be overlooked, with often disastrous results for yourself and your employer.

To better understand how you can optimize your work environment for better mood and productivity, you should consider various influencing aspects, as different factors are usually at play. Here are some suggestions that will get you up to speed:




Ergonomic factors

The most prominent factor in modern business environments, ergonomics, has taken the world by storm in recent years. It involves reimagining and redesigning different workplace aspects and the devices we use to suit us better. Ergonomics' major goal is to ensure that we operate at work with minor strain, exertion, and stress to make the experience comfortable and rewarding. Most companies nowadays strive toward developing or reinventing their respective workspaces to ensure you can execute your tasks with minimal inconvenience or harm to your well-being while maximizing efficiency. In line with this, it is becoming increasingly common to see personalized office environments and devices which cater to your every need regarding well-being.

The workplace can be full of hazards that could lead to lifelong injuries. Ergonomics help identifies how your environment can be harmful and how to protect yourself while working. Factors such as the presence of a ramp for easy disability access, the height of your computer monitor, and even its angle can severely affect your body's well-being. In addition, using the wrong chair can leave you moody all day and unable to do your job correctly, as the resulting back and neck pain may prove too much. You may even be at risk of heart failure and diabetes from sitting down all day working. In this light, Flexispot has you covered with its extensive line of quality standing desks, ensuring you are able to alternate between sitting and standing for better health and improved productivity. The ergonomics-oriented company also deals in other products, such as office chairs designed for lumbar support and breathability and effective footrests.




Workplace design and layout

It may seem evident at first, but choosing which office layout to use in your company's workplace is often difficult. Traditionally, closed-office designs ruled the industry, with workers operating in separate rooms. However, as times changed, so did the preferences; the issues of a closed-office plan, such as lack of flexibility and inefficient communication with others. Soon, we started seeing more open-plan offices. An open-plan layout is one where all the employees' workstations are spread across a large room divided by small cubicles. Soon enough, nearly all offices were open plan with experts repeatedly reminding us of benefits like reduced building costs as there is no need for multiple walled rooms. Others include flexibility, as you can quickly move across workstations for easy collaboration and increased efficiency.

Regardless, the open plan layouts have increasingly come under fire in recent years after the coronavirus pandemic highlighted their gross shortcomings after the inter-personal contact it encouraged helped the infection rate. It is also under scrutiny because of factors such as noise, where most of us can attest to frustrations when the room becomes too noisy for our liking. Other distractions can also make us lose focus while working, while the lack of privacy can be a massive issue if you treasure your personal space. In essence, the office layout can significantly impact your mood and productivity; it is up to you to work out the best and promptly apply it.




Color scheme

Regarding your mood in an office environment, color is perhaps one criminally underrated aspect. Color has been shown to influence your mood in various positive and negative ways. For instance, in offices that were painted the typical corporate white and grey colors, studies suggested that productivity was affected, with nearly every kind of worker reporting the same. It suggests that while the two colors might be standard in work environments, they may not be the best for inspiring your employees to raise productivity. You should thus be conversant with more options as the psychology of color can show you just how to spur certain traits and moods in your employees. Incorporating single colors, mixed shades, and even hues can significantly influence your ability to perform tasks and overall wellness.

The red is often regarded as stimulating the brain, which means you should add it to rooms requiring energized employees. However, it can be too stimulating and should be applied in moderation, depending on the job. Blue is known for its calming effect, suggesting it can even lower blood pressure. As such, it should be applied where your employees are expected to be casual; it, however, fails to inspire creativity and should thus be avoided in brainstorming rooms. Green is another color renowned for its calming effect, whereby our natural biophilia can be attributed to our affinity with it. We are inherently drawn to nature, where we tend to be relaxed, and adding shades of green can have a similar effect. Conveniently, you can add the color by incorporating plants which can have compounding health and productivity benefits.




Lightin

Have you ever felt unable to work due to dim lights? If so, you should know it wasn't just the poor visibility standing in your way but the change in mood that it can cause. Lighting choices can have tremendous effects on your overall mood and productivity. For starters, you should probably avoid artificial lighting as much as possible because it causes low moods, poor mental health, and reduced productivity. In addition, the positioning of lights can affect you by causing glare which strains your eyes and leaves you in a bad mood.

While you cannot just add more windows to your office space, you should ensure that workstations are close to windows for access to more natural light.

Moreover, for those of us whose jobs require focusing on tasks at your desk, you should consider employing task lighting, which enables you to illuminate a specific region of your workstation for better concentration. Failure to do this in a relatively dark office environment will result in declined productivity as you can't focus your attention on precise tasks. Similarly, some forms of task lighting, like desk lamps, can create shadows on your desk and reduce visibility; you should thus consider your dominant hand and place it on the opposite side. Finally, you might consider incorporating blue-light bulbs in the office after research showed that it is linked to improved mental and cognitive performance. It means bulbs emitting blue-wavelength light can improve your ability to think and solve problems improving your mental well-being.

Different factors in your physical work environment can influence your mood and productivity. There is some hope, however, as you can take specific measures to improve your odds of remaining healthy and excelling at your job. Flexispot is one partner you can trust to provide quality solutions, such as their Kana Bamboo standing desk, which reduces the effects of sitting all day and makes you more productive.