The main reason why people decide to leave their office jobs and start working from the comfort of their home is a drive for higher productivity. Remote workers across the globe are thinking that they’ll find the much-needed peace and quiet in their home so they can earn more money.
However, a home office comes with challenges of its own. From laziness caused by the absence of commuting to children screaming around you, it is not easy to reach maximum productivity in a home office. Luckily, there are at least 11 ways to set up your home office so you would be more productive and spend less time working and more time socializing with the people you love.
You need to feel comfortable in the home office
If you have ever worked in-house (what an ironic term), then you know how HR managers kept talking about ergonomics in the office. From a palm rest for the keyboard all the way to custom-made furniture, they wanted you to feel comfortable like you were in your own home.
Well, now you really are in your home and it might be difficult to replicate such a high level of comfort. That’s why you shouldn’t use the furniture you have around the house but buy a new chair and a desk, to start with.
Sitting in one place for too long causes lower back pain so the office chair must be as comfortable as possible. There is no such thing as overpriced when your health is on the line. After all, the chair will soon pay itself off if you are able to work long and hard sitting in it.
The same goes for the desk that can be a standing one if you prefer to work like that. Since you’re the only person sitting at the table, make it ergonomic and adjust it to the height of your knees. Finally, an anti-glare screen will help you protect your eyes from the unnatural blue light emote by the computer monitor.
Don’t get distracted by distractions
When working in a proper office you take your breaks in the break room (no surprise there). The question arises how to rest effectively while working from a home office. The answer is simple: use the common distraction to your favor.
Different people get relaxed with different things. Some like to play the guitar, others check the latest Instagram feed and some like to use antistress balls to unwind. Whatever is your method of relaxing, incorporate it into meaningful breaks you should make at least once an hour, taking the opportunity to stretch your legs as well.
Such tactics help you in two ways. Firstly, you will not get distracted by the things that distract you the most, and secondly, you will make the breaks count because they will present a true distancing from the job at hand.
Keep (creative) chaos out of the home office
There isn’t a household that doesn’t have issues with clutter. Fighting clutter is an uphill battle and if you have children almost a futile one. However, your home office should be encircled by a red line that clutter cannot pass.
Even creative chaos is not good for a home office environment because it acts as an ontological bridge with the rest of the house. Simply put, if your home office is a mess like the rest of the house, you’ll never be able to get into a working mood.
Cleaning sprees should be a regular occurrence in the home office, as paper clips, folders, books, manuscripts, and coffee mugs should all have a place of their own. In this sense, your home office could do with a bookcase to help declutter the workspace.
Invest in a light fixture
The light of the screen is not enough when you need to type deep into the night. The light in the room in the room where you work must be on but this can bother other people. That’s why many freelancers resort to using lamps but not just any kind.
Namely, investing in a light fixture should be a top priority if you work after sunset. Most LED light bulbs give out an unhealthy shade of blue which puts a strain on your eyes. The ideal light bulbs for a home office environment should produce a light quality ranking from 2700 to 3000 kelvins.
Let enough daylight into the home office
Good-quality light is important during the day as well. The room should be airy and light enough for you to see the keyboard but not too bright so you cannot see what’s on the computer screen. This problem can arise during a sunny day so you’ll need some way to control the amount of light coming inside the house.
One solution involves installing multifunctional window awnings that will give you full control over the brightness of your home office. They are ideal for sunny summer days when the weather can be a hindrance to your work.
Populate a daily task list
One of the biggest snares of working from home is the fact that you set your own work hours. Although this is a huge advantage to offer in-house positions, such flexibility can lead to leniency and often outright laziness.
Namely, you will not meet the daily workload minimum because you will be tempted to do other things or perhaps get distracted while working. That’s why populating a list of work goals every day should be mandatory. These might not be harsh production quotas but you should still execute these tasks professionally.
Take frequent eye breaks
The heart and soul of most officers is the computer. However, it’s not recommendable that you stare at it for too long because you’ll develop computer vision syndrome. Just like you know that it’s necessary to get up now and them and walk for a bit while on a break, you should be aware of the importance of taking eye breaks. Ideally, after twenty minutes of looking at the screen, close your eyes and look away from it for at 20 seconds.
Dress to impress
We’ve mentioned earlier that working from a home office comes with the risk of becoming lenient. In other words, you will start taking the job as something trivial and your outfit will reflect this. We know what you are thinking, and yes, you can work in your underwear.
However, dressing (or rather not dressing) like that will lead to a disaster! What you really need is to dress to impress, even if only yourself. The attire you wear definitely has an impact on the way you think and behave so working in undies and a T-shirt won’t make you extra productive.
Crank up the music
We’ve discussed how ergonomics helps you stay physically healthy but there is more to health than a straight back. One of the biggest perks of working from home is the ability to listen to whatever musical genre you like and to as loud as you like.
In this aspect, people differ significantly. Some folks like to learn and work to loud distracting sounds, while others require peace and quiet to concentrate on the tasks ahead. In an office environment, especially if it’s an open-plan office, it is virtually impossible to meet everyone’s work preferences.
For some, it is too quiet inside, while for others the rustle of paper is considered unbearable noise. Working from home gives you the luxury to put your favorite song on or work in utter silence; the choice is all yours!
Introduce plant life in the work area
You probably already own houseplants. However, they should exist, not to say vegetate, in the home office as well. Greenery comes with several benefits, such as improved concentration because that’s the effect the color green has on the human psyche.
Furthermore, plants produce oxygen and purify the air, obviating the need for air refreshers. If you live in the countryside, you can set up your office next to a large window to observe the nature outside and soak in all the positive, green vibes Mother Nature has to offer.
A home office on the go
Finally, where does it say that working remotely has to be done from your home? If you broaden your mind, the whole world could serve as an office. The brunt of the work is going to get done in the house but step outside now and then. For example, a solitary trip to Starbucks or McDonalds doesn’t have to be dull as it first sounds.
You can bring your laptop and from a coffee house, the beach or a hotel when you’re on holiday. The list of possible “home offices” is endless when you look at things from this perspective. Of course, you will never find such conditions as the ones you’re created in your own house but exploring is a real adventure!
These were just the top 11 ways to set up your home office and maintain the same level of productivity you would have working in-house. As more and more people take up remote jobs, the design of the typical home office is only going to improve. In this sense, better productivity spells more money.