Workspace Optimization

August 19, 2015

Workspace Optimization

Ask around and you’ll learn that the average working professional spends anywhere between 09 to 12 hours earning his proverbial bread and butter at desks or cubicles laid out in offices around the globe.

Although cultures, industries and the ethos of a company influence the layout and set up of an organization’s work place; the essentials are almost always quite basic and universal – they’ve got to be comfortable and conducive to the people using it. A fancy word for this? Work space optimization.

While it may sound complicated, work space optimization is simple to understand and execute. In this regard, it will help to understand what exactly constitutes work space optimization. This article helps to elaborate the essentials.

Layout & Design

Work spaces can have an open layout or a traditional cubicle style. Open layouts generally work for innovative companies that require lateral thinking while cubicles give more privacy and lower distractions which work for more traditional set ups.

Wall colors    Blues, greens, purples are associated with being cool and relaxing and are also pleasant on the eyes. Yellows, oranges, reds and browns are warm colors and associated with energy, passion and creativity.

Lighting   Brightly lit work spaces increase energy and the liveliness of a space. Natural light should always be encouraged. However, the lighting of a work space needs to be balanced. Too much light is a strain on the eyes and on the contrary, a little too less of it leads to drowsiness and inactivity.

Sound   Carpeted floors balance sounds while hard floors amplify sounds. Sound absorbing wall panels should be placed in noisy rooms. Work spaces that play music must ensure that volumes are kept at levels that do not disturb work flow, thoughts and conversations.

Workstations    Employees should be encouraged to personalize their spaces to give them a feeling of being at home and facilitate maximum productivity.


Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors defines ergonomics as “a science-based discipline that brings together knowledge from other subjects such as anatomy and physiology, psychology, engineering and statistics to ensure that designs complement the strengths and abilities of people and minimize the effects of their limitations.”  This has resulted in ergonomically designed furniture that supports and reduces strain on the body.

Desks:   Desks optimized for productivity are rightly sized, at a height that is comfortable for the person using it and offer enough space to accommodate all tools required by the user.

Chairs:   A checklist for an ergonomically well designed work space chair is a comfortable cushion, arm rests, adjustable seat heights and back rests for lumbar support and the ability to swivel and move around.

Computer Peripherals:    Mouse and keyboards should be placed close together and at a height that ensures that wrists don’t bend more than 90 degrees. Monitors should be placed such that the point 2-3 inches below the top of the screen is at eye level.

Storage:   Plenty of storage in the form of drawers, shelves, filing folders, cabinets are the way to go in order to facilitate a clutter free and clean working atmosphere.

Other Tips to optimize a work space for productivity is for employees themselves to make an effort to ensure that they adopt the right posture while sitting, minimizing eye strain by adjusting screen brightness, maintaining optimum distance from the screen, keeping their desktop clutter free by organizing files and folders etc.

As the time an average professional spends working increases and the barriers between work and life fade, work spaces, too, have evolved to becoming more conducive to the fast paced and demanding working environment of today. In this light, optimized work spaces are the order of the day.


August 19, 2015

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