Working from home is poised to become the new normal, which means you ought to start preparing your home accordingly.
The Telegraph reports that businesses will be advised to keep office numbers down and offer work-from-home arrangements — as is being done already — to prevent another potential wave of virus infections. This is a setup familiar to freelancers and remote workers, whose numbers in Scotland are gradually increasing. However, it might be uncharted territory to thousands of Scots, whose idea of work is likely office-based for the most part.
Whatever the case is for you, the tips below will guide you in setting up your home office for maximum productivity.
Choose Your Spot
First thing: Find the spot that works best for you. It can be your own room, by the wall of the living room, or near a window overlooking your garden. The point is everyone works differently, and can be at their best when working in a particular spot. Ideally, it should be a place that’s quiet, or one that keeps distractions to a minimum. Then again, the choice is yours. Once you have a preferred place to work in, you can set everything up around your most productive area.
Let Natural Light In
Wherever your spot is, do make sure you let in natural light, which Colorado Biz describes as a key ingredient of any home office. That’s because natural light has been proven to improve everything, including your wellbeing, your sleep-wake cycle, your mental health, and yes, even your productivity. Thus, figure out ways to let natural light in, even if it means adding an additional small window near your workstation. If, however, natural light isn’t a feasible option, it’s best to minimise harsh overhead lighting by swapping them out with subtle floor or desk lamps.
Get the Right Desk
Ergonomics is vital to any office design, be it your home office or your actual office. In particular, Pain Free Working emphasizes finding the optimal working position to avoid poor posture, which can cause injuries (to your back, neck, and wrists) if done for prolonged periods of time.
With that in mind, The Spruce recommends that you choose your desk carefully, as it’s where you’ll work. If possible, have it customised to make sure that it is large and high enough for you to work comfortably with proper form. Then, have a slide-out keyboard holder installed so that your computer keyboard is at the right height for comfortable use.
Think about adequate space for storage too, like a file cabinet or some shelving where you can keep all your work-related supplies for easy access.
Get the Right Chair, Too
Next, do ensure that you select the right chair as well, and that means a chair that is just the right height, and with adequate provisions to support your back and arms (e.g., cushioned backrest and armrests). With this type of support, you’ll be able sit comfortably for stretches at a time, and with proper form.
To this end, it is highly recommended that you find out more about ergonomic office furniture, so you can get a better sense of how to choose or customise what you need. Ultimately, this will help you work comfortably and efficiently, and even let you enjoy your new arrangement.
Set Up Productivity Tools
Sweating over mundane day-to-day admin tasks will eat away at your productivity, so you’ll need to figure out ways to simplify and streamline this part of work. To do this, we recommend 4 simple productivity tools that you must install in your workplace, as they can make your life easier. With these productivity tools at your disposal, you’ll spend less time doing the small stuff and more time doing your actual job. This, in turn, ensures maximum productivity.
Finally, Cross Over points to research highlighting how exposure to nature enhances happiness and productivity while reducing stress at the same time. That being said, it’d be great if you have a good view of your garden or backyard. If you don’t have this, simply place potted plants in your work area, preferably within your field of vision. These are small engagements with nature, but are big in boosting both mood and productivity.
You might also like: How to make working from home work for you
About the Author:
Amanda Mason is an occupational safety officer and ergonomics consultant. She advises clients on how to design safe, work-conducive workspaces either at the office or at home.
Never miss a post
Enter your details to get my latest content by email, including exclusive tips and offers, just for subscribers.