5 Tips for a More Efficient Office Space

Whether you’re setting up a massive New York City office space for your entire company, or configuring a small section of a shared office, your goal remains the same: to make sure it’s an efficient, comfortable place to work. These five tips can help:

1. Balance privacy with access

Most research into worker efficiency shows that we work best with a mix of alone time and group time. This applies whether you’re setting up offices for a team or renting office space for yourself only—you want to be accessible but also have room to get focused and buckle down for an hour or two of uninterrupted hard work.

2. Organize workspace according to how you use it

While everyone should probably have something to write with and on within arms reach at all times, just in case, everything else is negotiable. Put the things you need immediately in arms reach on your desk and put the things you need quickly but less frequently in a drawer, etc. Think about what you really use and what most frequently frustrates you and adjust accordingly.

3. Use a system

Some people prefer colored post-it notes, other people keep a label maker handy, while others rely on desk organizers or drawer separators. The point is, you want some sort of system in place to make organization easy and painless. It shouldn’t be a huge headache to stay organized, nor should you give up on organization.

4. Work with the right communication tools

The tools required for communicating at your job will vary immensely, so make sure you set up your workspace according to what you actually use, not some generic ideal. If you mostly Skype or chat in a collaborative program, make sure you’re set up so that you can do that comfortably for long periods of time while working on other things—and don’t worry so much about the phone you never use.

5. Use quality furniture

Putting aside the question of visitors, good furniture in your office space is simply more efficient in every conceivable way. It will require less maintenance, get replaced less often and keep morale high. Bad furniture doesn’t just make you look bad to clients, partners, or investors, it makes your office less efficient as a workspace—bad chair and desk setups may even lead to health problems over time.