Simple But Vital Home Office Improvement Tips For Remote Workers
Working from home may be a dream come true, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Where should you work? What equipment do you need? How do you avoid distractions? The key lies in a well-planned home office.
If you work from home, working at the kitchen or dining room table might be doable for a couple of weeks but not for extended periods of time. You need a purposely designed home office.
Here are six ways in which you can upgrade your home office to make it a more efficient, healthy, and productive workspace.
1. Invest in an Ergonomic Chair
Most of your workday is spent sitting down, so you need a comfortable chair that provides proper posture support. A kitchen or living room chair is designed to provide comfort for a couple of hours, not all day while working in front of a computer. Ergonomic office chairs follow the natural curvature of the spine and allow users to adjust the height, lumbar support, and arm rests. Investing in a good ergonomic chair will make a noticeable difference in your personal comfort and productivity.
2. Love Your Desk
Your home office needs a desk, not a kitchen table. Look for one that is the right size and height for you and that has enough space to fit all your supplies. You should be able to reach your computer peripherals and the items you use often easily. Get an elevated stand for the computer screen with a sliding base for the mouse and keyboard, or a laptop riser, to bring the screen up to eye level and reduce fatigue.
Consider a Standing Desk
We’ve all heard it: sitting all day is bad for our health. A standing desk allows you to work standing up. The height is usually adjustable, and some can be converted into conventional sit-down desks. Another option is to get a desk extender to place on top of a regular desk or table.
3. Get and Stay Organized
There are many ways to keep your home office tidy: desk organizers, stackable trays, roll-around carts, drawer organizers, floating shelves, filing cabinets. You should also organize computer and electrical cords using hooks and cable organizers such as spiral tubes and cable sleeves. Keeping everything organized lowers stress and boosts productivity.
4. Add Live Plants
Plants are more than decoration. Live plants improve our health by filtering the air we breathe—consuming carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They add color and life to artificial indoor spaces, provide a calming atmosphere and increase productivity. Choose plants that are easy to maintain and that are known for improving air quality, such as philodendrons, peace lilies, spider plants, dracaenas, and snake plants.
5. Give It Some Color
Whether you realize it or not, color has a significant effect on you, and that effect can be positive or negative. To stay motivated and productive in your workspace, paint the walls in a color that either calms you or energizes you, depending on the nature of your job and your emotional needs. To reduce glare, use paint with a matte, eggshell or pearl finish.
6. Fix the Lighting
Lighting profoundly affects how well or poorly you perform at work. Poor lighting conditions can strain your eyes, make you feel drowsy, trigger headaches, and impair your ability to work effectively. Warm, soothing light is works best in both living and working spaces. Using more than one light source, such as overhead fixtures, task lamps and, most importantly, natural light, helps eliminate shadows that could hinder your work.
Here are some tips to get your home office lighting right.
a. Maximize Natural Light
Natural daylight has great health benefits. Studies show that exposure to natural light during the day has positive effects on sleep, energy, mood, focus, productivity, and overall health. Using natural light also lowers your power bill.
Improve Your Windows
You can turn your home office project into a home improvement project. Upgrade your windows to let in more natural light into your home and workspace. Add light-filtering blinds or shades to adjust lighting and heat during the brightest hours of the day.
b. Use Task Lamps
If you don’t have enough daylight in your home office, you’ll need a quality task lamp. A soft-light glow gives your workspace a warm and cozy ambiance, boosting mood and productivity. For greater benefit, consider lamps that emit natural full spectrum light and that feature light dimmers.
c. Install Ambient Lights
Natural light is best, but ambient lighting is an excellent way to improve lighting conditions in your home office, especially when daylight is scarce. Place LED strip or rope lights above your desk, behind your computer, underneath shelves, up high on the walls and other strategic places around your home office.
If you’re working at home, you need a workspace that is comfortable, well-equipped, organized, properly illuminated, and decorated to your liking. Thoughtful planning of your home office will improve your motivation, productivity, mood, and overall health.