Wednesday, April 4, 2012

15 Reasons Most Workspaces Don’t Work

How functional is your workspace at work? At home? Whether they're stuck in a time warp, distracting, or just plain depressing, many workspaces around the nation aren't exactly boosting productivity. The classic cubicle and the corner office alike may be doing a disservice to the modern-day worker, making it harder and more expensive to get work done — but it doesn't have to be that way. There are some fundamental problems with many office spaces that can be addressed by architects, designers, and even the everyday worker to help create a workspace that truly works. Read on to learn why your current setup may not be doing you any favors and to get some ideas on how you can start building a better workspace.

They don't reflect the type of work being done
A cubicle or a small desk might be great for certain types of work, but may actually get in the way of doing other types. If your work is collaborative, requires a lot of space, or is best done with multiple screens, and your workspace doesn't reflect this, productivity is going to be adversely affected. Unfortunately, many offices don't always take into account the different types of work done by employees and stick everyone with the same desk regardless of position.

They're stuck in the past
The average office space hasn't changed much over the past few decades. Things are still arranged in much the same way, people work in the same small spaces, and the average setup really hasn't changed all that much. While office spaces haven't changed, how we work has, especially when it comes to technology. This disconnect between the needs of the modern worker and the standard work setup makes many workspaces impractical and an obstacle to actually getting things done.

They're uncomfortable
While ergonomics has become a pretty common office concern, not all workspaces reflect good design, and some are downright uncomfortable. Common causes of discomfort include unsupportive chairs, too much reaching, and tech that isn't at the correct level. This inattention to comfort can have a bigger impact than some realize, making it painful (literally) to come in to work.

They don't take into account life outside of work
While ideally we'd be able to shut out the outside world and our lives at home while we're at work, the reality is that work and home life overlap more than we'd like to admit (and very often work bleeds into home life, too). Workspaces, whether at home or in the office, need to take that into account, though many do not. Workspaces that make it possible to take care of personal tasks or bring work home easily are by far the most functional and practical in the modern world.

They aren't flexible
Do you do the same thing every day at your job? Do you only do one task? While that might apply to some people, most of us do work that demands very different tasks from day to day. Unfortunately, most workspaces don't reflect the need for this flexibility. For instance, making calls, writing reports, and meeting with clients all require a different setup to really work.

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