Before the pandemic, working from home wasn’t an option for many people and therefore rarely something they would have given much thought to.
But now it seems that swapping the office for our house is the new norm and it doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. Studies have also shown that working remotely has actually increased productivity, so even when things do go back to normal, both you or your boss might prefer it if you work from home after all.
In that case, the quality of our home environment has never been more important, and while everyone starts their day off wanting to be as productive as possible, back pain, distraction, noise and temperamental technology are often at play, making it difficult to get the most out of your day.
To ensure you’re working at your optimum and reach that great sense of accomplishment every day, follow our tips to set up an environment that’s ready for success.
Location, location, location… you’ve heard Kirsty and Phil go on about it enough and that’s because it really does make a difference. While some of us thrive with background noise, the majority of us find it incredibly distracting.
So the first step for ensuring your productivity is to choose a quiet place where you can actually focus. Ideally, a spare room or office and away from rooms where you spend a lot of your free time.
Why? Because not only will people you live with congregate there, but even if you’ve got the house to yourself, it’s harder to get into a pro-active work mode when you’re lounging on the couch or in bed. Not to mention the distraction of your TV and the fact that resting your laptop on your bed or your couch is no better for the laptop than it is for your posture.
If a spare room isn’t an option, try to set up in a quiet corner that is far enough away and turned away from the things that may distract you.
It’s important that you create a separate zone from the places where you carry out day to day activities in your house. Your office space should be associated with productivity rather than your recreational activities, so it’s easier to get into the work mindset when you’re there.
Quality of Space
So you’ve found your location, now you need to focus on the space itself. Two main elements create an excellent home workspace: organisation and lighting.
Few people can work in a dark and dingy room for 8 hours because your mind associates a darkened room with sleep and thus the opposite of that productive mindset you’re trying to achieve. Not only this, but studies have shown a bright space makes people feel more positive.
Try to work near a window and if that’s not possible, ensure your lights and lamps are providing ample brightness. It may also be a good idea to buy light coloured furniture, so the space feels bright and airy.
Therefore, you’ll feel more alert and positive, and your eyes will thank you for it when you don’t have to strain them anymore.
The next essential feature in your office space is your desk chair. It’s what is propping you up for eight hours, and it can make or break your comfort. Anyone who’s had backache or neck ache knows how difficult it is to focus on anything else and so ensuring your chair will support you is crucial.
The question is which office chair do you choose when there is so much choice. Well… if you want serious comfort and support, the best is an ergonomic office chair. This means it has been specially designed to fit your back’s contours – taking into consideration the pressure points you have and the various places your back needs support.
Many ergonomic chairs have sophisticated features, such as points of varying tension and 8Z Pellicle suspension material to ensure your posture stays in the right place, and your body is entirely propped up.
However, we understand that ergonomic doesn’t always make for most stylish of chairs, so if you want something a bit more sleek like a cocktail tub chair or a minimalist Scandinavian style desk chair, then we suggest looking for the ones that provide cushioning and some adjustability features like a movable backrest.
Check out our list of the best office chairs right now.
Nobody ever said that neat spaces in an office made them less productive. And there’s a reason for that because making sure your desk is organised will create a calm and welcoming environment and help you feel more in control of your workload.
We suggest having a sleek and tidy tray for your pens, a notepad and perhaps a couple of folders, but not much more than that.
You don’t want to get distracted from your work because you’re sifting through piles of papers and paraphernalia trying to find your pen. And while Post-It notes are popular with many people, they can get messy pretty quickly, so try to find an alternative for jotting your ideas down.
If you need books and other folders, invest in some shelves or maybe a ladder desk to give you some storage above. Another idea is to find a table with fitted drawers or purchase some storage baskets yourself.
To fully jazz up your space and keep you organised and pro-active, we have some of the best desk accessories to spruce up your space.
Your new office space might be your new place of work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it an attractive place to be. Try adding just two or three statement pieces to bring the space alive a bit. Whether that’s a cool print, an interesting ornament (like a world globe) or a couple of plants, try adding something personal that you enjoy looking at.
Levels primarily create an aesthetically pleasing set up, and plants are wonderful for adding colour and texture. And studies have also shown that plants improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress levels, and boost mood. Not the mention, they look nice too!
And now, with a clean, organised and calm workplace environment, all that’s left is to grab a coffee and show that to-list who’s boss … you can thanks us for the pay rise later!