Working productively from home is not necessarily easy. It’s a challenge to balance work and home life, so developing a productive home office environment is crucial to getting work done.
Updating the space for the home office is one of the most effective ways to tackle this problem. When you have an office that’s comfortable, well-decorated, efficient, and designed for productive work, you’ll do more quality work and find simpler balance.
Designing a home office is quite different from designing a commercial one. “While comfort is essential in any office, an office that is too casual may seriously impede the ability to get things done,” Jo Heinz, a Texas interior architecture and design specialist told Entrepreneur.
“You have to find a way to separate yourself from the rest of the goings-on in the home and to convey a sense of ‘off limits’ to all other normal and natural home sounds and interruptions.” If you can manage that balance, you might get more work done than you would in a commercial setting.
Here are some tips for creating a positive environment.
1. Get Comfortable
A cozy couch with too many pillows might be too comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit on a hard chair with no embellishments. Select a chair that’s relaxing and supports your back. Wear comfortable clothing when you work, but do not wear pajamas.
Perhaps the most crucial piece of furniture you will buy for your office is a comfortable, ergonomic chair since you will spend most of the day sitting at your desk. It is not just about comfort but is also about health.
The best office chairs can be adjusted to your requirements, allowing you to move the different parts of the chair around to fit your body. It is important that your spine is in the correct position and adequately supported. Getting proper advice and testing various types of chairs can ensure you buy the most appropriate one. Some companies offer online chair configurators so that the chair is precisely modeled to your requirements.
Find a desk that fits into your room well and doesn’t dominate the whole space. Think about what you need your desk for. If you are an architect or designer, you will probably need a large desk that can be tilted and raised. If you only need your desk for a computer, you can get away with a small desk. If space is limited, consider a corner desk.
2. Control the Temperature
Offices set between 72 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for working conditions. Set the thermostat to a comfortable range, and don’t sweat the extra expense of running the air conditioning or heat.
If the cost worries you, or your heating and cooling system has problems, proper maintenance of the unit will make it run more efficiently so you save money while working comfortably. Efficient window treatments can also control the room temperature better without consuming more electricity.
3. Add Personal Decorations
According to a paper published in PsycNET Journal, office spaces that lack personal embellishments are “the most toxic space” people can work in. Putting up pictures and decorating according to your style is conducive to improved productivity.
The study also showed that employees with plants in the office were 15 percent more productive. “What was important was that everybody could see a plant from their desk,” explained Dr. Chris Knight, lead author of the study.
The color you chose to paint the office can have an impact on your mood. Painting your walls a light shade of green can induce feelings of peace and tranquility. Researchers have also suggested that it’s the most comfortable color for your eyes. If you work in a creative occupation, you could paint the walls purple because it inspires the imagination. Add some of your favorite art prints to the walls. Be careful not to have too many personal accessories as they may be distracting. You could find yourself reminiscing about your honeymoon if you are surrounded by wedding photographs.
“If you are working in an environment where there’s something to get you psychologically engaged, you are happier and you work better.”
4. Understand Ergonomics
Work tasks and equipment should be designed with ergonomic principles in mind to prevent workers from being exposed to undue physical stress, strain, and overexertion.
Ergonomics in your home office begins with your furniture. Choose a chair that effectively supports your back and a desk set at an appropriate height for your neck and arms when you work at the computer.
Consider a sit/stand desk that can be adjusted to any height. Standing while you work is often better for your health and provides a much-needed break from a monotonous routine.
5. Stock with Necessary Equipment
If you’re constantly running to the store for ink cartridges and staples, it’s hard to get productive work completed. Rather than waiting until you run out, keep your supplies well-stocked. Have an order point so that as soon as supplies reach a certain low level, you can order and have them delivered to your door.
Working from a home office means that you need to be able to connect with the outside world. An internet connection is necessary for communicating through email, social media, virtual meetings, and maintaining a website.
Make sure you have all the office tools you need as well, from a quality scanner/copier to a file holder. You’ll be more organized and able to focus when everything is right where you need it.
6. Rethink Space
Evaluate the current setup of your home office. Maybe it’s time to move the furniture. A change such as this can serve as an excellent way to create a more productive and effective workspace.
Space planning also plays a vital role in efficiency. If you’re walking long distances between the copier and your desk when it could be within a few feet, move it closer. Think about the things you use most often and place them within reach of your desk.
7. Have Productive Distractions Handy
“You’re going to need brain-breaks once in a while,” counsels Larry Kim in an article on Inc.com. “Maybe it’s a book, or a game app on your phone, or a favorite musical instrument — choose your weapon.”
Research shows that frequent, productive breaks are best for workers who seek more productivity. They prevent burnout and help you stay focused.
“Keep it close by so you can reward yourself with short breaks, but tuck it out of sight. You don’t want to be constantly tempted and find yourself staring longingly at it instead of working.”
Productivity in the office is within reach! You have more control over your motivations than you might think. Make some much-needed changes to your office and enjoy a more productive atmosphere.
Richard Parker is a freelance writer and author at TalentCulture.com and Readwrite. He covers industry-specific topics such as SEO, small business solutions, entrepreneurship, content marketing, word Press development & web design. You can connect with him at Linkedin.