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A Desk Setup That Actually Boosts Your Productivity
 

The organization of your office or desk has certain psychological effects, here are a few ways to use psychology to your advantage.

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In a traditional American work week, the average person spends eight hours a day, five days a week plugging away at their desk or in his or her office--though, let's face it, most people clock much more time than that. 

Did you know that your desk space can have a psychological impact on you? According to a recent PsyBlog post, you can actually use the things around you to help get you through the day--however long you work. 

Here are four tips based on PsyBlog's findings to improve your working environment: 

Minimal isn't optimal

Sorry minimalists, turns out that decorated workspaces improve workers’ well being and boost productivity. A group of researchers found that when employees were allowed to decorate their offices--with personal pictures and kinckknacks--their work performance was positively affected. 

Another plus: allowing employees to decorate can improve company culture as a whole. “We threw out our corporate guidelines for office and cubicle displays and let our people create spaces they enjoyed. I have at least 20 posters of Jon Bon Jovi in my office. Cost to let your people build the atmosphere they work best in? Nothing,” Lara Morrow, of the Beryl Companies, told Inc. 

Bring in some nature

A recent study found that looking at pictures of nature has a positive effect on cognitive function. When participants in the study looked at images of nature, they were able to recover more effectively from mental fatigue and restore their attention more easily. So hang scenes of nature in the office or at a desk to help you get through the workday. 

Plants have a similar effect, according to PsyBlog, citing that indoor plants, like images of nature can also help restore your attention. 

Shapes matter

Surprisingly, curved lines versus angluar objects and straight lines in your work area help you stay relaxed. Research supports that interiors with more curves than straight lines elicit more pleasant emotions--such as peacefulness and relaxation. 

Clean vs. messy

In terms of your desk, the verdict is still out on what works best, messy or clean. Order and disorder have different psychological impacts. Studies have found that “messy desks tended to encourage more creativity, while tidy desks encouraged conformity and general good moral behavior.”

 

 

 

IMAGE: Kevin Morris / Flickr.com
Last updated: Sep 6, 2013

ABIGAIL TRACY is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.
@abigailtracy




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