The years spent as a student are often quoted as being the best in life. This is frequently true, after all it’s common that during these years you create lifelong friendships and live independently for the first time. One of the most important things to remember is that you are not going to get these years back again, so you need to make sure that you use them as productively as possible.

You may not realise this, but your environment can have a significant effect on how productive you are. Whether you’re in a luxury office in London, or a local library, the amount of light that you get, the chair you sit in and even where you are located in an office space or classroom, are all important factors to consider.

Why your environment matters

You know that studying can be difficult if there is a lot of noise around you or if you are having difficulty seeing your laptop screen because there is not enough light. These are just a couple of the environmental factors in an office, or study space that can have a detrimental effect on performance. No matter how hard you try to study effectively, these external factors may be causing you to struggle. The good news is that there may be things that you can do to improve the situation.


Man working in an empty office

Image Credit – Cornerstone Office Search

Improving your environment to optimise study potential

There are certain things about the environment in a classroom or office space that it's useful to know, if you want to reach a high level of work or study performance while you are there.

  • Natural light is best. This is why making sure that you have as much access to natural light as possible is important. If you can, choose a seat that is close to a window, or at least make sure that you can see through a window. If there is any clutter on the window sill remove it; this maximises the amount of light that can get in.

  • Use break areas when you can. There is a reason why break areas are included in most college, university and office building designs. This is the place where you can go to relax and replenish your energy levels so that you can return to studying, or attend a lecture, refreshed. This helps to increase your attention span and improve your performance.

  • Make sure that you have the right furniture. Not being able to adjust the chair you are sitting on can cause problems with neck or back pain which is not going to make it easy for you to concentrate and study. Ergonomic furniture is important in helping to optimise performance.

What helps when you study also helps when you start work

As much as you may want to, you cannot remain a student forever. The aim is to finish your studies, get your degree and find a job (possibly after some travelling); preferably one that makes the most of your skills. The improvements to your environment that make studying more successful also help to make it more likely that you will achieve the results that you are aiming for. This in turn can help you set out on the career path that you want.

Once you start your career, the environment you are working in continues to matter. Working in an office that has an environment which is geared towards optimising performance is a big help. Most modern offices are designed and fitted to make sure that this happens. You should find that you have;

  • Access to natural light.

  • Solutions to deal with noise and distractions in an open plan environment, such as mid-height partitions.

  • A desk and chair which can be adjusted.

  • Access to break out spaces.

It's much the same situation when you start work as when you are studying; if you do not have the right environment, you cannot perform as well as possible.

The environment in any space which is being used for study or work plays an important role in the effectiveness of the people who use it. It's important to remember this throughout your life. The lessons that you learn about lighting, space and ergonomics while you are still a student help you to achieve your goals now and and after you graduate. The environment does not just have an effect on your studying as a student, it can also help to shape your career path which in turn affects the type of life that you live.

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