Career Advice Tips to be more productive

Tips for Being More Productive in a Shared Workplace

Communal workspaces have been all the rage with companies big and small in the last decade. Driven by the notion that these shared spaces allow for better collaboration, creativity, and synergy of ideas, more and more professionals find themselves, whether by choice or by force, working in close quarters with others. There have certainly been instances where impromptu conversations and brainstorming sessions in shared workspaces have led to something innovative, inventive, and groundbreaking, but on average, the day-to-day ins and outs of sitting in an open floor plan can be distracting, encouraging unconscious procrastination and result in a dip in overall productivity. So how can you be more productive in a shared workplace? 
Invest in good headphones. Noise is the number one distraction in a co-working space. Eliminate that problem with headphones. Listen to music if that’s your preference, or spend a bit on a noise-cancelling set if you need silence to work. Using headphones can also signal to those around you that you’re trying to focus on your screen or desk, making them less likely to engage you in a conversation that may delay you from getting your work done.  
Arrange yourself. Visual distractions can also derail your work efforts. If you find yourself getting distracted by all the movement and action taking place around the office space, relocate yourself to a quieter corner or rearrange your workstation so that you face a wall. This will limit your visual distractions and aid in keeping your attention on your work.  
Declutter. Keep your desk space as clean and clutter-free as possible to help keep you more focussed and productive. You may not be able to prevent those in your area from talking too loudly or from having non-work related conversations around you, but your own space you can control. Keep your area tidy so that you can minimise the amount of distractions you’re exposed to at any given moment. 
Create blocks of work time. Each time your work is interrupted, your productivity obviously  goes down, but you also lose momentum. By having to reacquaint yourself to the details of your own work each time you return to your task, you diminish your ability to complete your work effectively or efficiently. Post your predetermined work times as your “office hours” and let your colleagues and co-working space friends know that you should not be disturbed during these times. Offer to help or collaborate outside of these times and insist that they adhere to your schedule.  
Find your escape. Ultimately, there may not be many options for you if you work in a shared office where distractions are everywhere. If you discover that the other tactics aren’t working for you, then you may need to look for private areas to seclude yourself as a last ditch effort. Perhaps there are small private spaces designed for personal calls that you can use just so that you can put the finishing touches on your project before sending it to your client or perhaps there’s a little known nook on the other side of the building where you don’t know too many people and you can use that space without fear of interruptions. Whatever it may be, you should have a last-ditch emergency hideout for those inevitable times when you need to get work done, but can’t concentrate at your desk.