Submitted by: Camille Fraser from the ErgoMania Team
Coworking spaces are great for those who are working or studying remotely. It enables a sense of community and creates a physical space for work with fewer distractions. Infact, a study shows that almost one third of work from home cases had family members present in the home and only half had a separate room/office to work in. Less family distractions normally equates to a sense of higher productivity and performance (Robelski & al, 2019). Who wouldn’t want to be more productive?That said, there are many factors that come into play for work productivity, such as, level of comfort, fatigue and other types of distractions. Coworking spaces offer a sound work environment to unleash your ultimate productivity, but it’s ultimately up to you to utilize the area and make it fit your needs. These easy to follow tips will help improve your coworking experience:
Tip 1: Eliminate Distractions
You’ve already taken the family distractions out of your workday! Don’t stop there!
- Cell phones are a big distraction for most, put it on sleep mode and away from sight. This will help resist the temptation!
- Now that it’s not your family members asking you questions, making noise and distracting you, it’s the voice of your coworking peers’ zoom call that might take some of the attention away from your work. Research has shown that distracting background speech increases your perception of noise. This poses added demand for concentration aka. more taxing on your brain (Nielsen et al, 2021). Interesting right!?! There are a couple of different ways to eliminate this distraction, one way is to put on noise canceling headphones and play instrumental music, and the second is to book a cubicle when you have virtual meetings, or have a really cognitively tasking project to do that day. Not overloading your senses is key!
Tip 2:Make your CoWorkingSpace Ergonomically Friendly!
De-glamourize laptops! We know that laptops are great for traveling due to their compact and light features. That said, they are not meant for long term use! They force you to work in awkward postures that are bound to create physical discomfort throughout the day.
- By adding a compact keyboard, a computer mouse and a laptop riser you are greatly improving your workplace! This combo will allow you to raise your screen to proper eye level (top of the screen slightly below eye level) all while keeping your typing and clicking near elbow height. These products don’t weigh a lot and are also very easy to fit/ carry in your bag. To top it off, the assembly once at the co-working space doesn’t take long!
- Anything that is adjustable at your workstation should be adjusted to you. Check if the chair, desk, and lighting are adjustable. If your chair is too low compared to your desk you may want to get a seat pan cushion to raise you up and add support. The optimal position is as shown on the picture below.
Tip 3: Choose your spot wisely!
The beautiful thing about coworking spaces is that you have the opportunity to choose what desk you are working at from day to day. When you have the choice, keep glare and distance from the utilities in mind.
- You want to avoid lighting that causes glare off your screen(s) as it promotes eye fatigue. When your eyes are fatigued, productivity goes down. Potential sources of glare are windows, mirrors and ceiling lights. A good way to test if you have a glare issue is to put your hand above your eyes like a visor, if this provides relief or you stop squinting you have glare issues. A product that reduces glare from screens is a screen glare protector, this may be a good investment if you can’t find a space that is not affected by glare.
- You want to choose a desk that is far from the bathroom and kitchen. This will promote movement throughout the day. Research shows that having an office further away from common destinations is related to improved adiposity indicators (Gay & Buchner, 2020)!
- You want to be aware of drafts in the co-working space, if you are a person that is cold easily don’t pick a spot close to the door during the winter months.
Want to learn more?
Once you’ve implemented them you are on the right track for long term comfort, and increased productivity! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are looking for ergonomic products visit www.myergomania.com .
Camille Fraser from the ErgoMania Team
Gay, J. L., & Buchner, D. M. (2020). Associations Between Office Location and Adiposity in Office Workers. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 62(10), 871–873. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001979
Nielsen, M. B., Emberland, J. S., & Knardahl, S. (2021). Office design as a risk factor for disability retirement: A prospective registry study of Norwegian employees. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 47(1), 22–32. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3907
Robelski, S., Keller, H., Harth, V., & Mache, S. (2019). Coworking Spaces: The Better Home Office? A Psychosocial and Health-Related Perspective on an Emerging Work Environment. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(13), 2379. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132379