We’ve all been there. You can’t put your finger on it, but you know that your workspace, whether in-office or at home, doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe it’s the intense artificial lighting or that tight blue cubicle; either way, you know that your surroundings are stifling your productivity and creativity.
While there is a lot to be concerned about concerning this COVID-19 crisis, many of you are taking your first steps into working from home, and you now have the opportunity to design an office that best suits your needs. The color, desk-type, and chair are now up to you.
If you are just getting started, or want to upgrade what you have, below are some recommendations to transform your home office into a productive workspace.
Find a Room With a Window
A Cornell University study found that workers who were in daylit office spaces saw an 84 percent decrease in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. The data also revealed that being near a window can increase productivity by two percent. If you can, work in a space that has natural light. Not only will it have a positive impact on your physical health, but it will also help you to produce more quality work.
Ensure You Have a Door or a Way to Separate Yourself
When you work from home, everything will become a distraction. Whether your spouse approaches you with questions, or you see the dishes piling up out of the corner of your eye, everything will seem to catch your attention. One way to combat this is to have a barrier. This would be a door in the best-case scenario, but you can also invest in room dividers if you live in a studio apartment or want to work in an open space with a window.
Invest In a Productivity Focus App
As we all know, there are more distractions than just those directly around you. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even news websites can take you away from your work. To stay on task, see about investing in an app that blocks access to these sites for a specified time. You can keep yourself from venturing onto other websites, and you can even set a timer that makes it almost impossible for you to work on anything other than your current project.
Buy The Right Chair
A chair may seem like something that shouldn’t be a priority, but you will spend the better part of six to nine hours a day in this chair. It should be comfortable, but it should also protect your back from injury. Studies have shown that an adjustable ergonomic chair can reduce orthopedic injury, and a University of California study revealed that worker productivity could increase 17.5 percent by just buying the right chair. Ensure that you do your research into chairs that will protect your back and allow you to be productive throughout the day.
Have Desk Storage Items That Allow You to Decrease Clutter
While some think that desk clutter reveals a creative mind, it can really put a dent into your work productivity. Having to spend time finding documents or wondering if you threw something out, takes you away from the work you need to do. This reason is why you need to invest in desk storage items like desk organizers, bins, storage caddies, and even jars. When you can easily find your office supplies and relevant documents, it makes it easier for you to start your day.
Include Your Favorite Plants and Artwork
It is important for you to feel that your space is your own, and a great way to do that is to include things that inspire and motivate you while also relaxing you. Research has shown that plants can reduce stress. So, make a point to find plants (whether physical or artificial) to add to your office space. Also, don’t forget to include art that you enjoy. These could be posters from your favorite pop culture media, inspirational quotes, or natural landscapes.
Use a Palm Rest
Your arms, wrists, and hands must be aligned as you work. It helps keep posture and can prevent injury to these areas. This means that you need to have the right height for a desk, but it also helps to have a palm rest. A palm rest makes it easy for you to stay comfortable and keep your body aligned as you work. Comfort is crucial as you work from home, and the more comfortable you feel, the more likely you are to stay productive and focused as you work throughout the day.
Make Your Home Office Your Own
As many of us start to adjust to a life of working from home, we now have the opportunity to create office spaces that truly encourage us to be productive. Whether it is a chair that improves your posture, or a storage caddy that allows you to keep all notebooks and supplies organized, you can now more easily start the day and ensure it is successful. You deserve to work in a space that inspires creativity and feels comfortable. The suggestions above can help you accomplish this for a temporary or even permanent remote work setup.
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