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Building a Highly Productive Office Space

 8:49 pm on Nov 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been thinking about how to build the most productive office space possible. I've read David Allen's "Getting Things Done," and have wondered what components of the modern office can be upgraded to lead to higher productivity, organization & efficiency.

1. Are there any office products that you can not live without?
e.g. an aeron chair, ergo keyboard, particular brand of desk or filing cabinets...

2. Is there anything in particular about the layout of your office space that you feel increases productivity?
e.g. whiteboard close to where you sit, dual LCD monitor setup, playing music, etc...



 4:29 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Big desk - not for egotistical reasons - just so I can spread out, good light and a decent sized conference table.

Dual monitors are one of the biggest productivity boosts I have personally come across.

No particular favourite brands, but quality and contemporary design always me me happy. I think the office has to feel as though it has personality not just be another soulless workspace.


 5:08 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

My most indispensible aid is my whiteboard. I call it my talking board. I use it most often when talking to colleagues and partners, and also to make notes and lists for myself. I used to take Polaroid photographs of it before I erased it.

Then I got a white board that makes copies on thermal paper. Best office appliance I ever had except for my computer.


 11:40 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Dual monitors are a must.

We also just had a soda fountain installed (we have over 20 mountain dew junkies working for us) and it seemed to help a bit with productivity.


 10:18 pm on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised no one mentioned the coffee maker!

How do you organize and store your information each day? On paper (i.e a big desk calandar, or notebook) or with software (such as Microsoft Outlook)?

I personally agree that the office shouldn't just be a soulless space. I want to create a workspace that thrives. Any other ideas or suggestions?


 12:18 am on Nov 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I really like having my ipod and a pair of computer speakers setup for music.


 2:03 am on Nov 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

We also just added a 52" tv and a love seat. It helps the creatives to get away for a bit and refresh themselves.


 8:37 pm on Dec 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

i'm just curious, how do dual monitors help your productivity? i can see some reasons for myself, but none really are enough for me to justify getting them myself.



 8:43 pm on Dec 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Snacks. People are more productive when they're not hungry.


 8:44 pm on Dec 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

No Internet Access
Free Salty Food
Free Highly-Caffeinated Beverages
No Direct Lighting
No Phone


 4:56 am on Dec 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

i'm just curious, how do dual monitors help your productivity? i can see some reasons for myself, but none really are enough for me to justify getting them myself.

I keep open on one screen outlook, our crm software, and our quoting engine. On the other I do pretty much everything else. It lets you watch outlook all day, while quickly being able to reference anything else.

For a programmer, they can look at a mockup or a spec doc on one monitor and code on another.

For a designer, they can put all of their toolbars on one monitor and use the other as their workspace.

It just allows you to view more information at once and makes multitasking more efficient.


 1:36 am on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

For me it's desk space, lighting and a filing cabinet to get a lot of my work done. Good lighting is important to me. All of this is because I'm a paper person. Don't like reading a lot on the screen.

My chair. I hurt my back some years ago and I had an ok office chair, but I was tired, grumpy and in pain by the middle of the day. I was able to get a quality ergonomic chair that adjusts all over and I'm now 100% all day long. Not only did that chair improve my productivity, but it improved my life. Even if you don't have back trouble, you likely spend a lot of time in a chair in our business, you might as well get a good one. Same reasoning as putting money into a good bed.

Whiteboard is great but be sure to get all the colours of the rainbow for your markers and a bunch of erasers 'cause you'll lose lots of both and if you're using a whiteboard, you want markers and erasers at your fingertips.

Don't forget the corkboard. Really handy, especially if you're a paper person.


 8:11 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

karmov - Can you elaborate as to which brand of chair improved your productivity so dramatically?


 1:52 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

It was a custom built chair as far as I can tell though it looks like a lot of other chairs I've seen so I imagine someone makes one like it. The big thing about the chair for me is how configurable it is. Over and above the normal tilt/height adjustments, the armrests pivot, the seat slides forwards/backwards, there's a pump lumbar support. All of these things let me set up the chair to fit me. Once I got this and I read up a bit on office ergonomics (my monitor position was way off) I felt much better.

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