Biz Features

14 Ideas for Optimizing Your Workspace [Infographic]

by . May 7th, 2014

Most of us need to spend a couple of hours at a desk at least some of the time. Unfortunately, like most things these days, even sitting down to work isn’t as simple as we’d like it to be. Prolonged sitting, and unoptimized work conditions can lead to a host of health issues, resulting in a loss of productivity.

Using data compiled by Healthy Computing‘s Alan Hedge, and David Rempel, Business Insider put together an infographic that all entreps and freelancers should take a look at. Your back, shoulders, and wrists will thank you for it.


Of course, there’s more to productivity optimization than making sure your desk’s in order. While the infographic offers some great advice, there’s a lot more to workspace optimization than just desk layouts.

Here’s a few more ideas anyone could use.

5 Other Simple Workspace Optimization Ideas

5.) Organize Your Files and Folders



The way you plot your virtual real estate matters almost as much as how you arrange your physical space. Take a couple of minutes a month to clear out or archive files you don’t need on your computer or cloud service. Make sure to use a logical naming convention for all folders. This will help conserve time, while helping you avoid plenty of needless aggravation.

How you do this is completely up to you. While some people swear by nested folders, others prefer to archive everything they haven’t used or looked at in a month. Others may find file organizers like Hazel or Evernote to better solutions for their needs. Dropbox and other file hosting services can also come in handy, especially for those who find they need to work on multiple devices often.

4.) Apply Lean Productions Techniques to Your Processes

Lean production techniques offer plenty of benefits for almost any work space. If you work in a kitchen for example, you can can organize things so the preparation area is right after the fridge, and the stove right after that, and the sink right after, to economize movements.

Same principle could apply to any work station. You can also try the same ideas for your file and folder paths. Economizing your movements can reduce fatigue and keep you from getting tripped up when times get hectic.

3.) Separate Work and Personal Spaces

A workspace with too many distractions can often prove detrimental to productivity. A dedicated workspace can help mentally prepare you so that you’re actually productive. However, it all depends on the type of job you do, and what you’re personally comfortable with.


Office Distractions: Part One

Office Distractions: Part Two

2.) Organize Workspaces Like a Fighter Plane Cockpit

Cockpit layouts in aircraft are designed to help pilots with situational awareness, without overwhelming  them with too much unneeded info. Ergonomics and human factors are taken very seriously in cockpit design – they could mean the difference between life and death.

WikiMedia Commons
While you probably won’t experience a life or death situation while at your desk, you could take a few cues from how cockpits are designed to optimize your workspace.

One thing you will never see in aircraft are info displays that totally block whatever is in front of you. Equipping your workstation with multiple monitors can give you some of the benefits of a well-engineered fighter plane cockpit.

Dedicate a secondary or tertiary monitor to important, but sporadically needed applications (such as test screens, chat windows, and e-mail clients) so that they are kept in view, without them blocking whatever else you’re working on. This has been proven to increase productivity in some offices anywhere from 10 to 40 percent.

1.) Try a Standing Desk


Ernest Hemingway invariably used a standing desk
They were good enough for Ernest Hemingway, Donald Rumsfeld, Benjamin Franklin, and Winston Churchill, among many others. While they aren’t for everyone, they can offer a less sedentary way of working. Some people, particularly creatives, claim that standing or pacing helps them think.

Standing desks are also touted to have several health benefits. While these benefits have not been conclusively proven, there’s an increasing body of evidence that suggests we should at least aim to reduce the amount of time we sit in a day.

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What other productivity and workspace optimization tips can you share? Comment below!


Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.