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5 Ways To Make Your Workspace Less Claustrophobic

Offices can easily feel cluttered and claustrophobic, which increases stress on employees and reduces productivity. No matter if you’re back in the office or you’re working from home (or a combination of the two!), a few steps can improve the appearance and overall feeling of your workspace.

Mental health and clutter

Studies indicate strong links between how we feel or how we perform and the appearance of our surroundings. Clutter has been shown to contribute to depression, as well as confusion, tension, and decreased focus. The visual cortex, or the part of the brain that processes visual information, can be overloaded by the presence of objects that aren’t related to the task at hand. This makes it much more difficult to focus and work efficiently. No matter how you look at it, a clean space is good for your mental health.

Streamline your workspace

Consider the following ways you can help make your work environment a better and brighter place.

#1: Get rid of the clutter

Clutter is a problem for all work environments no matter if you’re at home or in the office. To keep clutter at bay, do one big clean and then set up systems that will keep you organized going forward.

  • Tip 1: Start by assessing the papers that are currently on your desk – even the sticky notes. Make one pile of all the papers you don’t need and one pile of all the papers you do need. Maybe you include an “archive” pile of items that you need to keep but don’t use frequently.
  • Tip 2: Create a system for storing your papers. You don’t necessarily need to use a filing cabinet. Often, some folders that can be tucked in a drawer will do the trick.
  • Tip 3: Reduce your paperwork. It’s easier to keep a clean desk if you’re using less paper. Digital tools like G Suite, Asana, and Dropbox are great options for communication and collaboration.

#2: Stay focused on work (when you’re at home)

It can be hard to focus when you’re working from home if you’re surrounded by all the other things you need to do. Clear your work desk of bills and other projects or tasks that aren’t related to your job. Consider using break time to accomplish some of the items on your personal to-do list. If you set aside time for these tasks, it will be easier to focus on work during work hours.

Other strategies for improving focus can be to set aside time where you don’t look at your work emails or messages. It’s nearly impossible not to get distracted when you’re constantly getting alerts from people trying to contact you. Let your coworkers know when you won’t be easily reachable and need some heads-down time. If you’re still struggling, try out productivity methods like the Pomodoro Technique.

#3: Bring the outside in

Get rid of the headache-inducing and unpleasant fluorescent lighting. Instead, use LED lighting while adding depth with overhead and desk lighting. Plus, take advantage of natural light, which can do wonders for your outlook. Consider rearranging your workspace so you can be close to a window. (As an added bonus, open windows are important for healthy ventilation in the office!) Add potted plants to your space, as they may provide numerous benefits, such as more a positive outlook, enhanced productivity, and improved air quality.

#4: Decorate wisely

Decorating your workspace is a great way to add fun and personality but too much can create its own kind of claustrophobia. Remember that less is more! Stick to one color palette, or consider using neutral colors with some pops of color to liven things up. Incorporate things you love into your space, such as art, photos, and knick-knacks, but use a light touch.

Remember that decorating can help you organize, too!

  • On walls, use whiteboards or chalk paint for a space to make notes
  • Consider using vertical space for storage with floating shelves or hanging filing systems
  • Use baskets or storage boxes to organize writing utensils, papers, and office supplies

#5: Use a regular shredding service

Keep the clutter at bay by regularly and securely shredding your paper. This can drastically reduce your office mess while reducing the stress of exposing confidential info. DataSafe provides regular, recurring shredding services that meet your needs. No matter if you want paper shredded on a weekly or monthly basis, we have an option for you. We can even create a custom schedule for your unique business needs. Don’t forget – we destroy hard drives and other digital media too! Clean out that closet of old computer gear and gain valuable space. Contact us at 503-620-3423 and #ShredLocal!

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