Posted 21/10/2021

5 Reasons Your Desk Is Making You Unproductive

On an average day, would you say you were working to your full potential?

If you said no, you’re not alone. In fact, only around 5% of workers believe they are consistently operating at maximum output. So, if you are part of the 95%, what is holding you back?

Sometimes, these factors are out of your hands, like inefficient processes. But, there are some things that sit entirely within the realm of your control. Like your desk. Turns out, an un-optimised desk environment can be inhibiting your flow in significant ways. It may sound simple, but with refinement and a tweak here and there, who knows what you could achieve? Here are five of the top reasons your desk is making you unproductive.

1. Tidiness

They say cleanliness is next to godliness. Scientifically, it’s because our brains like things to be ordered, and an untidy desk can distract us and limit our ability to focus. Those bird's nests of cables, mountains of paperwork and deep coffee stains can chip away at our attention and create feelings of anxiety, even subconsciously.

Simply put, a messy workspace equals a messy headspace.

When your space is organised, you can breathe easier and get back to what you do best. A clean desk means different things for everyone. Creatives and expressive types might find more inspiration with numerous desk accessories and ornaments, while other workers prefer a sleek, minimalist aesthetic.

Here’s a tip: keep everything you need daily within arm’s reach, and find a more permanent spot for anything else.

Setting a time to spring clean your environment at regular intervals is important to maintain productivity. However, this can be a double-edged sword. Studies suggest excessive tidying can be a delay tactic – procrastination cleaning, if you will – as it gives you the opportunity to put off that larger, more daunting task for an easier, short term achievement.

So, what’s important is that your desk provides adequate storage space and the capacity to keep things organised easily, thus you spend less time cleaning and more time being legitimately productive.

2. Position

Your desk should be a seamless extension of its environment; harmonious and complementary. Paying respect to feng shui and the natural energy of a space can have a significant impact on your mindset, comfort, and ultimately – productivity.

Good feng shui suggests placing your desk in a power, or command position. This means placing it as far as possible from the room entrance, but ensuring you can see the door when seated. If your room doesn’t allow this, try experimenting with a mirror to create that visibility.

You should have a strong backing, ideally, against a solid wall. Otherwise, tall plants or furniture behind your seating area can have the same effect, but make sure you can enter and exit your desk easily. Around 90cm clearance is a good rule of thumb.

Where possible, avoid facing a wall or a window. Keeping your views to the side will ensure minimal distraction while maintaining a sense of openness.

3. Size

Size matters, and is actually a deeply personal decision.

Deciding where to put your desk for maximum productivity is much easier when it is the perfect size for your room.

The size of your desk should be congruent with your environment as well as being reflective of your ideal workflow.

In this way, it is unique to you. A desk too small is cramped and restrictive. This can be indicative of limited potential, a low career ceiling, and even speak to your sense of self-confidence.

Meanwhile, a desk too big can be a magnet for clutter, and overwhelm a space. You should opt for the largest desk your room will allow for.

This will ensure you have the desk real estate for all the equipment and tools you need for efficiency, such as a second monitor – which can boost your productivity by up to 50%!

4. Posture

Of course, in addition to length and width, your desk also needs to be the optimum height for your posture. Your feet should sit flat on the floor, with your arms at a comfortable 90-degree position on the desktop, so adjust your chair until you find this position.

If, unfortunately, your desk or chair is at a fixed height, you could potentially use a footrest or cushions as a workaround. Extended periods in an unnatural seated position can not only affect your body’s wakefulness and motivation but also impact your level of assertiveness and ambition. So, sit up and be proud!

It is easy for posture to fall by the wayside, particularly during long working hours, but poor posture can lead to significant health issues, including back pain, heartburn, and even reduced lung capacity. Standing desks are proven to help mitigate these health issues and improve your posture throughout the day, enhancing your efficiency, increasing blood flow and minimising fatigue.

For the best of both worlds, height-adjustable desks are incredibly useful, allowing you to fine-tune your desk until it sits at the perfect level for your build and seamlessly transition between seated and standing positions for maximum productivity.

5. Construction

Finally, not all desks are created equal. When you are min/maxing for productivity, everything plays a part – and construction is no exception. The materials and even the colour of your desk will influence feng shui.

Wood is generally considered the superior element, representing creativity and growth. As a reliable and long-lasting material, desks made of wood add stability to your space and a sense of grounding. The natural aesthetic brings a quality flow of energy to your environment.

Meanwhile, a glass desk can have the opposite effect, suggesting fragility. Energy passes through glass quickly, and being transparent can reveal untidiness. This makes a glass desk feel more chaotic than stable wood.Muted shades, like grey and white, aim to stimulate the mind, while browns and brighter colours add spirit and vigour to a room. Ultimately, the colour you select is up to you, as your desk should perfectly represent your personal taste – but it pays to be aware of the impact these simple decisions can have on your workflow.

With these factors in mind, if you are on the market for a new, highly productive desk, Omnidesk is an industry-leading provider of ergonomic height-adjustable desk solutions. From high-quality construction using the best materials to endless customisation through an ecosystem of accessories, the Omnidesk range has everything you need to be at the top of your game.

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