Working from home productively can be challenging when everyone in a household is at home to cause distractions and limit options for suitable work spaces. While a lot of things cannot be changed in our homes, such as adding a new room, there are some things you can focus on to optimize your home work space for increased productivity and better mental and physical health. By addressing these basics, you’ll stack the cards in your favor for having productive workdays at home, whether you’re in a dedicated room or making do with whatever space is available in your home.
Decor And Design
If you’re lucky enough to be working in a dedicated room, try carrying design elements or themes from the rest of your home into your workspace to make it more comfortable and feel like a place you want to spend time. You’ll feel more at home and relaxed in a space that has some attention to aesthetics, even though you’re spending your time working. No matter where you are situated in your home while working, try to keep the area free of clutter to make it inviting and calming.
If you have a choice, pick a location in your home that is as far away as possible from foot traffic and disruptions and distractions. You obviously want to be as far removed as you can from whatever activity may be going on in your home while you’re working. Although many distractions may appear to be small, they accumulate to slow you down and interrupt your concentration. If you will have clients coming to your home, consider choosing a location as close as possible to an outside door if you can’t have a separate door for your workspace.
If you’re working wireless and relying on WiFi, make sure you choose a location that has a strong signal. Waiting for loading can really add up over many hours which impacts your productivity.
If you expect to need a home office permanently and you can’t add a room, don’t rule out converting your garage or part of your garage if you have one. The trade off of course is that your vehicle(s) would have to remain outside.
Think about the temperature of the spaces you’re considering for your home office and make sure there’s adequate heating and cooling. If you can’t control the temperature adequately, there are lots of portable and compact solutions for temperature control in a single room. There are lots of options, so check out some reviews for space heaters and portable air conditioners to narrow down your search. Airflow is important as well since stuffy air will make you less alert and feel tired more easily. A fresh supply of oxygen is really important, so do whatever you can to keep fresh air entering your work environment. Even placing a small fan near a window can do wonders.
Lighting Your Home Office
The other big factor in having a productive workspace is lighting. Natural light is best if you can get it because it enhances focus and productivity. If natural light isn’t an option in your home office, you want to choose your artificial lighting carefully. Without adequate lighting, you can create eyestrain and headaches and slow yourself down. Try to create an even light in the entire space so you’re not rely strictly task lighting. Adding dimmers is best so you have control over the brightness that you’ll need throughout the day. And keep in mind that hard natural or artificial lighting creates glare on your computer screen which increases eye strain and fatigue. When done properly, lighting can make your space inviting and energizing and you’ll feel ready to tackle your work. Here are some lighting tips and ideas for inspiration to help you get your workspace lighting into gear.
Ergonomics For Your Health And Comfort
Don’t overlook proper ergonomics no matter where you end up working. It’s easy to tell yourself you’re “comfortable enough” but there is often a price to pay with your body and medical bills when you overlook proper ergonomics. Even seemingly small adjustments can make a huge difference in your comfort and long-term health and well-being. Check out this office ergonomics guide from the Mayo Clinic to help keep yourself away from the doctors.