Improve your productivity and boost your mood by making a few simple changes, such as switching your light bulbs and incorporating plants.

As the new year quickly approaches, everyone is finalizing their resolutions for 2020. In the midst of finally getting those rock-hard abs, adopting a new diet or setting an ambitious sales goal, don’t forget about making an upgrade to your office space.

Although it may seem insignificant, a properly designed workspace can boost your mood and productivity — factors that aid in meeting your personal and business goals.

“Workplace productivity isn’t about getting from point A to point B in the fastest amount of time, but, rather, getting the job done in the most efficient manner possible while still maintaining a level of happiness and well-being,” workplace design expert Jamie Fertsch told Business News Daily. “Your personal workspace is one of the most overlooked factors that affect productivity.”

With that in mind, here are four easy ways to create a better office (and work experience) this year:

Boost productivity with new lights

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If you’ve watched the morning news at all this year, then you’ve likely heard of the dangers of blue light, which is emitted from our electronic devices and lightbulbs in our homes and offices.

According to researchers and ophthalmologists, blue light can negatively impact your circadian rhythm and contributes to digital eye strain — something that could put your longterm eye health at risk.

If you’re dealing with eye strain and headaches while working at your desk, then consider repositioning your desk near a window so you can receive a boost from natural light. If that’s not an option, then swap your current “blue” lightbulbs for ones with a warm or bright white hue.

“If you have to deal with glare, for example, you can get a headache and not be able to focus,” behavioral scientist Anja Jamrozik told Fast Company. “Task lighting can optimize your workspace, and even certain light bulbs give you a more alert feeling.”

Jamrozik said warm white bulbs increase alertness and reduce eye strain, all of which helps boost productivity.

Bring the outdoors, indoors

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Houseplants reigned supreme in 2019 as everyone aimed to bring a little tranquility into their lives with a carefully placed succulents, fiddle leaf figs, and Pileas. Beyond upping the aesthetics of your workspace, some say plants offer mental and physical health benefits as well.

If you struggle with allergies, certain plants can help reduce the level of dust and mold in your space. Experts at WebMD suggest plopping a couple Chinese evergreens or peace lilies on your desk to capture the dust that collects on your electronics. If those two options don’t tickle your fancy, then visit your nearest nursery and ask for plants with textured leaves — they’re the best dust catchers.

Beyond saving you from allergies, plants are effective mood boosters. According to House Beautiful, Basil, Lavender and Rosemary have a calming effect — perfect for those days when you’re facing a tough negotiation or dealing with a picky buyer.

Stay cool with blue hues

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A beige and white color palette is so 2019. Add some color to your office space with an accent wall painted in Pantone’s Color of the Year, Classic Blue. In addition to evoking a sense of calm, Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman told HGTV that blue is often connected to confidence, consistency and dependability.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” Eiseman said. “This particular shade of blue is reflective, anchoring and self-assured. It’s relaxed and restful, and meant to offer us all a sense of needed tranquility.”

If a cool color palette isn’t your cup of tea, then add some warmth with color blocking, which relies on pairing colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel.

“The resulting combinations are fresh and eye-catching,” read an Inc.com article about the trend. “Bright pinks pop against greens; blues clash with yellow and orange.”

Color blocking can add a needed spark to a drab private office or conference room and leaves a bold impression on clients.

Stay comfy with stylish, ergonomic furniture

Torwai | Getty Images

If your office chair is more than seven years old, it’s time to chuck it. According to Baylor University, most office chairs begin to break down after the five year mark, and beyond becoming an eye sore, uncomfortable chairs may lead to lower productivity.

Although ergonomic furniture in the past may have earned a bad rep for being less than fashionable, designers are now offering options that look as good as they feel.

Choose an option with an adjustable arm rest and seat height and higher back that will support good posture. From there, feel free to get creative with bold finishes, textures and materials to match your personal style.

Email Marian McPherson

Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.

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