These days, working from home is a fairly common practice. As the internet continues to develop, jobs are increasingly online-based, allowing individuals to access their work from just about anywhere with wifi.
However, because work and home life are blending together more and more everyday, it may be difficult to completely focus on work in an environment such as one’s home. This is why it is incredibly important for one’s home to be adaptable to work-related activities that often require ample amounts of focus and creativity. Learn how to maximize productivity at home by following our favorite home office tips listed below.
1. Have a Designated Office Space
Having an office space is essential, because separating work from your living spaces will make it easier for you to both relax once you are “clocked out,” and focus while you are “clocked in.” For example, it may be very difficult to stay awake if you curl up in bed to work on your laptop. If you do manage to get some work done, you may have a tough time falling asleep later in the evening.
Although ideal, your office doesn’t have to occupy an entire room of your house. However, if you place your office in the corner of another room, it is important that your work-space is still a distinguishable part of the room. If you have family members or roommates, it is best that you choose a relatively low-traffic room to ensure you will experience as few interruptions as possible.
2. Eliminate Common Distractions
Building off of the last tip, it is imperative that you minimize distractions as much as you can. For example, having a tv in your office may tempt you to catch up on the latest sports game, rather than complete your work tasks. Or if your office doesn’t have a door, noise made from family members or pets may make it more difficult to focus.
That being said, some noise, such as listening to certain types of music, has been shown to improve work performance (Shandrow). What distracts one person, may instead help you to “get in the zone.” Figure out what you personally find distracting, and keep it as far away from your office space as possible.
3. Functional Layout
The layout of your office is vital in maintaining a high level of work efficiency. Function should be your top priority when it comes to arranging furniture, devices, filing cabinets, etc., particularly when it comes to your office. For example, the items you use frequently should be located near your desk. The less you have to get up to look for something you need, the better.
Because your work habits may change over time, it is recommended that you keep your layout relatively flexible. To accommodate your ever-changing needs, you may want to purchase furniture with wheels or simply avoid bolting anything to the walls (Roadruck).
4. Comfortable and Adjustable Furniture
The two most important pieces of furniture in your office are your desk and chair. Because you will spend so much time sitting down, it is important that your chair is comfortable. Before buying a specific office chair, it is a good idea to actually sit in it to get a feel for how it fits your particular body (Roadruck).
It is also important that your chair has adjustable functions, so that it is easily customizable to your personal sitting preferences. Likewise, purchasing an adjustable desk is helpful (Roadruck). Should sitting make you restless after a while, an adjustable desk will allow you to switch to a standing position so you can continue working comfortably.
5. Proper Lighting
Contrary to popular belief, bright light is not ideal for working environments. It is best to go with a more indirect lighting source, such as the natural light from a window. To offset the glare from your computer screen, consider positioning your computer, “…so that windows run alongside the workstation rather than in front of or behind the screen,” and use a desk lamp to help you better see any paperwork on your desk (Roadruck).
6. Choose The Right Colors
The colors in a room can dramatically impact your mood. If you wish to feel calmer in your office, try incorporating the color blue into your space. If you wish to feel more confident, the color red has shown to have a powerful effect. Lastly, to enhance your creativity, try adding the color green to your office. Pair these colors together, and you will likely notice a difference in your overall productivity (Shandrow).
7. Fresh Air
Breathing properly in a space you spend a lot of time in, such as your home office, is a must. Some quick tips to help you improve the air quality of your office space, include investing in an air purifier, opening the windows, and/or keeping indoor plants. Studies have shown that house plants help prevent fatigue, reduce stress, restore attentiveness, and remove air-pollutants (Shandrow).
Roadruck, Kesley. “How To Design A Healthy Home Office That Increases Productivity.” Forbes. 2017 Mar 14. Web. https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2017/03/14/how-to-design-a-healthy-home-office-that-increases-productivity/
Shandrow, Kim Lachance. “9 Ways to Create a Productive Home Office (Infographic).” Entrepreneur. 2015 Nov 10. Web. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252723