Take a look around your office. What do you see? If your answer is, “photos of my colleague’s children” or “a desk piled high with papers I was supposed to read 6 months ago,” you’re not alone. From open plan offices to cubicle farms, most office designs are far from what anyone call “inspiring,” nor are they necessarily optimized for getting things done.
Never fear. Today we’re taking a look at 5 of the most genius office ergonomic hacks out there to help you turn your office into the most productive, ergonomic and unique office space around.
Ergonomic Hacks to Improve Your Workspace
1. Z-Rack Divider
Open-plan office spaces can be distracting, and yet isolating employees in individual cubicles can be depressing for the more social members of a workforce. What to do?
Just create a Z-rack divider like the designers at Stanford’s Institute of Design. The z-rack itself is actually a garment rack used by fashion designers and suppliers. In our design, however, the middle is filled in with writable shower board tacked to foam board or plywood, creating all kinds of decorating possibilities. Use the shower board much like a whiteboard for brainstorming ideas, or encourage your teammates to draw their own pictures when they stop by. Z-racks are inexpensive to make, can easily be moved to accommodate growing teams, and you can add more or take them away as employees request more or less private space.
2. Ikea Hack Standing Desk
Much has been written lately about how sitting may be killing you. But unless you’ve got a spare thousand bucks lying around, buying a top stand-up desk is probably out of the question. You could just stack up a pile of books but that’s pretty unstable, and what if you want your desk to adjust so you can both sit and stand throughout the day?
The answer, as it often does, can be found at Ikea. For example, the Ikea standing desk which is this combo sitting and standing desk is such a simple idea, it’s a wonder the concept isn’t more widespread. By simply anchoring together a desk, book case, shelf and adjustable leg, you’ll be able to sit or stand as you please. Add in a chair with good lumbar support, an ergonomic keyboard and a laptop stand to prevent eye strain and hunching, and you’ll have the least expensive ergonomic workstation around.
3. Binder Clip Wire Holders
When it comes to office clutter, wires tend to be the biggest offenders. Not only can the mess they create be distracting, but they also can cause major aggravation, as they seem to have a knack for tangling themselves in massive rat’s nests entirely on their own.
Binder clips to the rescue! Just mount your clips to the end of your desk, thread the wires through the metal clasp and voila! Each wire will stay in its allotted space so that they’re always easy to access. For particularly big messes, even empty toilet paper rolls can make a great wire organizers. Just slip your wires inside and there’s no way they can disarray themselves into a giant tangle (we hope).
4. Ice Tray Desk Organizer
If you’re like most people, you’ve got paper clips, tacks and various other office miscellany floating around your desk. You could buy an organizer for each one, or you could simply turn a brightly colored ice cube tray into an impromptu organizer. Each separate cube will help you categorize your office supplies, so you can find whatever you need as quickly as possible. Add in a few buttons and beads for extra color to brighten your mood.
5. LED Busy Light
When you’ve hopped on a Skype call, you generally want your colleagues not to interrupt you. But knowing that you’re on a call can be difficult if you’ve got headphones on and are just listening.
Take the guessing out of this all too common situation with this amazing busy light, designed by a Ruby on Rails developer. First, install wireless LED lights above your office door. Then get the best developer you know to code an app that interfaces with the Skype API, turning the LEDs red whenever you jump on a call, therefore indicating that you’re not to be disturbed.
Sound too complicated for you? Well, then a simple busy sign for your door can work. But where’s the fun in that?
There are as many ways to hack your office productivity as you can dream up. All it takes is looking at your everyday office supplies in a little bit of a different light. How will you begin?
Leah Kaminsky is a writer and blogs for Goldtouch, an ergonomic keyboard company located in Cedar Park, Texas. When not working on her fiction writing, you can find her jogging with a dorky pastel visor on (hey, a girl has to protect her face). You can follow her at @JustStartApps.