Productivity: The Heart of My New Office Design

Recently, I converted my garage into an office. This was for two reasons.

First, I wanted to stop working in the kitchen. As it turns out, when you work in a room like that regularly, you simply can’t switch off. You finish work, stand up, and realise you’re already home.

My office-garage conversion was therefore designed to give me a place in which I could work and then shut away when finished.

Second, it has been built to maximise my productivity, and it’s working really well. What’s more, it’s enabling me to lead a team of remote workers far more efficiently, and I think the tricks I’ve applied can be used by any leader, in any environment.

Here’s how I’ve tweaked my new office for maximum productivity . . .

There’s not much in it.

As I look around now, I have a desk, chair, some storage units, and a lamp. Nothing else - and it’s a fairly big room.

The result is a space that is light, airy, and very inspiring. The lack of clutter also gives me far less to look at and become irritated by, enabling me to focus entirely on the task in hand.

It’s bright.

I’m lucky enough to have been able to install a very wide window in my office. And, even with a blind half-closed, it lets in masses of natural light.

Light of that kind is good for the soul, and for your productivity, so if your office windows are currently hidden behind fully drawn curtains or blinds - unleash that light!

I have just one (big) screen.

For quite some time, I was one of the countless people who swore by dual monitors.

It enhances my productivity, I thought; and while that may have been true, since I’ve switched to an iMac (the big one with the twenty-seven inch screen), I feel more productive than ever.

This is one office design productivity tip I can’t fully explain - all I know is it works. It may have something to do with the lack of clutter created by two screens (wires, stands - that kind of stuff), or it may simply be because a single screen requires less eye- and head-swiveling (and searching for your mouse pointer).

I can kick back and have a coffee whenever I need to.

One of the key purchases I made for my new office was a mini coffee machine.

Without naming names, it’s one of those into which you insert tiny pods, press a button, and watch as it magically creates the perfect cappuccino.

This diminutive device has proved to be very useful indeed when it comes to fueling my day. It provides a great bit of respite from work itself. The process of making a coffee with it is (perhaps worryingly) addictive, but also forces my mind to focus on something else.

The front door is within eye-shot.

Lastly - and I can’t claim this is by design - the front door to my house is within eyeshot no matter where I am in my office.

This, as I’ve discovered, is pretty handy, because it reminds me there is a world outside waiting to be explored. It reminds me that I can go and walk the dog whenever I need to de-fuzz my brain, and that my friends and loved ones lie beyond - a treat I can indulge in once I’ve finished with my work responsibilities.

Have fun reconfiguring or building your office! I did, and I hope my tips above help you achieve productivity nirvana!