How to perfect your home office
More and more people are working remotely from a home office. In fact, about 59% of people choose to become remote workers in 2022, according to the Pew Research Center. Moreover, the majority of these workers admit that they preferred this style of work long before pandemic-related safety concerns were a factor.
There are a range of benefits when working from home. You no longer have to make long trips to the office. Not only is it a matter of lost time but also of safety. Distracted drivers on the road staring at their phones or weaving through traffic are much less of a concern if you’re working from home. Workers also tend to report having a better work/life balance with a home office.
You can also take jobs from anywhere across the country and even around the world. Remote work will open up more travel opportunities for those with remote work options. Even those who only work from home can benefit. A 2021 survey by Chicago Booth and the Autonomous Institute of Technology of Mexico found that 40% of workers were more productive at home.
Creating a comfortable yet professional workplace for working from home is key to staying productive. Trying to work in the same room where the family eats or watches TV can be distracting. A home office can give you the privacy you need to work without encroaching on a shared family space. Here are several ways to create a home office that’s perfect for you.
Often people mix their daily household chores with their office work. While you can work anytime from home, you want to make sure you set aside time to do your work. Scheduling apps allow you to reserve blocks of time to perform specific tasks. For example, you can set a time for meetings with clients and colleagues. Then you can also schedule time for intensive productive work in the office while being on time to pick up the kids from school.
Planning apps are available in a range of interactive designs. Most consist of a calendar that allows events to be scheduled for specific times and days. They also come in a range of prices. Some are free, while others require a monthly subscription. Moreover, there are plans based on the number of app users, allowing people to access more features and functions.
If you’re uncomfortable, you’ll constantly move around the desk and chair, and you’ll be more easily distracted. Plus, just lounging on the couch or using a stiff kitchen chair can lead to poor posture and back pain. Investing in ergonomic furniture helps relieve back pain and maintain good posture. Then you can sit comfortably through those long hours while maintaining your productivity.
Depending on the size of your home office, you may want to get a professional office chair for your office. Then get several chairs or a sofa in the office if you are meeting with clients. If space is limited, but you still want movement options, an adjustable desk is highly recommended. Of course, sitting or standing all day has downsides, but that can usually be avoided by switching between the two positions. You can even embed reminders on your scheduling app to change positions every hour or two.
If your work setup is stationary, make sure it is properly spaced in the area. You want plenty of room for your feet and legs. So don’t sit directly in front of desk drawers or shelves. Try adjusting your desk if it’s too low and crowds your legs. Lower the desk if it forces you to tilt your head back to comfortably look at the monitor or if you have trouble typing on a keyboard.
Office lighting can do amazing things to help increase your productivity. Whether you use natural lighting or artificial lighting, it can help improve your mood. However, poor lighting can easily lead to eye strain. Poor lighting can also lower your energy levels and cause headaches or even depression.
When considering the type of lighting in your home office, consider the amount of natural light present in the room. Then, rearrange the furniture to take advantage of any available natural lighting. Then invest in artificial lighting to supplement the space’s natural lighting and illuminate dark areas.
You want lights that don’t create glare on your computer screen. First, consider using lamp shades to diffuse bright ambient light sources. Then use task lighting to illuminate specific areas of your desk as you work.
The digital revolution has created a wide range of technologies that can be used in the home office. The types of technology you invest in will be based on how you work from home. For example, smart TVs can give you the flexibility to work comfortably in multiple rooms. You can easily open browsers on your TVs and use them as computer screens. The larger viewing size can make virtual meetings with colleagues and clients much more comfortable than a laptop screen.
If you have kids at home or it’s just too loud, smart headphones can help. These noise canceling headphones can block out surrounding noise. They also increase the sound of phone calls and other Bluetooth devices.
If you have a lot of devices plugged in and want to save energy, smart plugs allow you to control any device remotely. Whether it’s a printer or a dehumidifier, you can switch the socket on and off to save energy.
The device does not even need to have an internet connection. Instead, you access the outlet via your smartphone. This device helps you reduce energy costs by keeping appliances from being on all day. Of course, you might want to control all of your smart devices from one isolated location. Smart speakers act as personal assistants, can make phone calls and access other devices.
Improve air quality
If you have poor ventilation or share the home with pets or smokers, you may be dealing with poor air quality. You may also have a problem with dust mites, mold or insufficient humidity. When these problems persist, you may find it difficult to concentrate on work. As a result, you may constantly feel unwell, tired, or sick. Improving the air quality throughout your home, especially in the office, can help you feel better and increase your productivity.
To improve air quality, make sure office furniture isn’t blocking air vents and returns. By removing these obstructions, air can flow through the system and become cooler.
Good maintenance can also make a difference. For example, have your furnace and air conditioners serviced and checked annually to help improve air quality. Also remember to have your ducts cleaned.
Another way to help directly improve air quality in the home office is to invest in compact air purifiers. Many purifiers have smart technology built in to help remove pollutants in the air. If you can’t afford a quality air purifier, just opening a window on a nice day can bring in a cool breeze.
Make good room flow
Of all the tips provided above, perhaps the main aspect to consider is the flow of the room. How you and your customers move through the space can help make it a pleasant and productive environment.
If you constantly get up from the desk to retrieve papers, you may need to rearrange the space. Plus, you’ll waste more time and energy getting around other furniture to sit in front of the computer. This wasted time can impact timelines and your overall satisfaction with your setup.
Before buying any equipment or furniture, measure the space. Then use these measurements to determine the sizes of desks, chairs, sofas, and office equipment. Always leave enough walking space in the home office, so it doesn’t get cluttered.
Don’t make your home office an afterthought
With more and more people switching to remote working, having the right place to get work done is essential. Simply tossing a laptop on an old dresser in the corner of the living room can work for a day or two. If you regularly work from home, however, further consideration is required. Be sure to outfit the room with everything you need and all the extras that will ensure long-term productivity.
Develop a detailed plan to improve lighting and air quality, and design the space with comfort and efficiency in mind. A better layout of your bedroom will ensure a space where you can function and truly thrive when working from home.
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