How To Be Productive in Any Office Setup

Updated on 12 August 2014

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How to be productive in any office setup


For entrepreneurs who have yet to find office spaces for their startups, their humble home or local coffee shop is usually the company’s first headquarters.

This is usually followed by co-working spaces where independent business professionals and freelancers can conduct their business or open-plan offices, which are also cost-effective options for small business owners looking to keep their overheads low.


See also: 5 on-the-go working spaces in Jo’burg

Whichever set-up your business calls home, each of these working spaces can come with their own unique set of challenges including affecting your productivity or that of your staff.

Here are some productivity hacks for each office setups:

Home offices

For those who work from home, your office is the kitchen or dining room or whichever room is available for you to set up your operations. While it might seem like the ultimate luxury, the line between professional and pleasure can often be blurred. So how do you become productive when your business and private life are located at the same base?

  • Find a dedicated space: First thing first – find a separate room in your home to set up your office. Somewhere you won’t be distracted by the sounds of television etc. This will also allow you to separate your work from your private life.
  • Set up a separate phone line: Your business needs its telephone line. As most entrepreneurs start small, even something as simple as a business line can make a big difference and will make your business communication more professional.
  • Declutter: Nothing is worse for your mental state than living and operating in a mess. This can cause lethargy and chaos. Declutter your home office space and rid it of all non-work stuff.

Read Also: How to get the most from your first week back

On-the-go offices

Working on the go at co-shared spaces or coffee shops seems like the perfect solution when you think about not paying office rent or commuting to work. But what happens when you’ve forgotten something integral to getting your work done? That has to tamper with your productivity! Here are some things to keep with you that are key to getting work done:

  • Reliable internet: If you’re on the go, make sure you research where you will be able to get Wi-Fi. But if you travel a lot and need reliable internet access invest in a 3G card.
  • Make use of apps: What happens when you have an important meeting but leave your diary at home? This is where technology comes to the rescue. There are tons of calendar apps to download and sync to your email that will remind you of meetings, and appointments and will allow you to share the document with others such as Calengoo, PocketInformant, Calalarm and Asana.
  • Accessories, accessories, accessories: Always make sure to remember to pack your power cables, or a power strip so you can share outlets with other mobile workers; this also gives you a good chance to connect with your fellow workers.
Open-plan offices
  • Tune out the noise: In most open-plan offices, many employees deal with the problem of noise by wearing earplugs or listening to music on their headphones. Instead of music which can be distracting, try to use your headphones to listen to soothing nature sounds on YouTube.
  • Private spaces: In every open-plan office there should be a separate area for employees to conduct meetings and strategy sessions, or even to make a phone call if the noise levels get too loud.
  • Flexi-time: Some companies are increasingly allowing more flexible working hours. Whether its allowing employees to work some days from home or different working hours. What this means is you won’t have everyone at the office at the same time which should help with noise levels and the issue of tight space.

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