The pandemic has moved more and more people home to work. Years ago many companies were reluctant to offer employees this option. This season has demonstrated to many businesses that people are often more productive when working from home than when they travel to an office. There are fewer interruptions for a start! When the Covid crisis is over, it is indisputable that not everyone will return to a physical workplace.
When someone is employed remotely or has taken up freelance, they first need to have a designated workspace. If someone works in their bedroom it will be far from ideal. It’s hard to sleep if four hours earlier, you were stressed over a work project. Boundaries need to be set in place too, such as barring access to partners or children during certain times.
There are several things a person can add to their home office to make it a more efficient place, and that’s what this article is all about.
Make Space for Coffee
One reason people are often more productive when working from home is that they are less disciplined over taking breaks. This is not an entirely good thing. People need to rest their eyes (e.g. by looking at distant objects through the window) every thirty minutes, and to leave their desks and move around. Stretching exercises are invaluable too.
Coffee breaks are an integral part of office life, and this should not be sacrificed at home. A walk to the kitchen may provide a welcome rest break. Alternatively, a coffee machine could be added to the office. This would be highly valuable when someone is fighting to achieve work deadlines and targets. Coffee can be a real treat mid-morning, and people may appreciate these types: espresso, long black, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, mocha, cafe creme, or red-eye to name but a few. It’s a highly individual thing: a drip coffee or espresso machine may be desired. Other people may prefer freshly ground coffee beans or a machine that uses various capsules or pods.
An Ergonomic Chair
If someone sits on a bedroom chair at a makeup table this could spell trouble for their health. Everything may be at the wrong height, and the person may be sat slouched over the table. If a chair is straight-backed it will be at odds with the natural curve in their spine.
Quality office chairs protect a person’s lumbar area and fight to reduce lower back pain. People get what they pay for. More expensive chairs may also feature headrests designed to give neck support. Armrests are more than a luxury too: they help take the weight off our upper arms and shoulders. An additional cushion may provide extra support for a person’s lower back while they are seated.
We’ve all seen people sit in office chairs with their feet tucked backward. This is not good for our bodies. The height of the chair should be set so that we can comfortably rest our feet on the floor while we work.
An Adjustable Desk
No one will be productive if they are battling with their furniture and back pain! The height of the chair and desk need to be compatible. Some office desks have an adjustable height, to ensure everything is tailor-made for use. The top of the computer should be level with the person’s eyes.
Remember: workstation assessments occur in workplaces, to ensure the equipment is suitable for the employee. Such things do not become unimportant when someone works from home!
Some people adjust their desks so they can stand to work for set amounts of time. Laptop stands exist that can support such activities too. It’s important to realize that whilst it can vary our posture, new strains will be put on our bodies if we choose to work this way. Anyone seeking to work standing up should introduce the practice gradually.
An Ideally Placed Printer
This could be a matter of personal preference. If someone is really busy and pushing themselves to be productive, they may want a printer in their room. No sooner will they have pressed ‘print’ than they have reached out and grabbed the paperwork.
An alternative may be to use the family printer. This may be stored elsewhere, in a communal area. Whilst it will require a short walk to obtain the printouts, it will help discipline you to take regular exercise during work time.
A Relaxed Environment
Office workers are frequently expected to work in formal suits and jackets. They can feel both cumbersome and hot at times. If someone works from home and wears leisure clothes, they won’t have to be as hot or tight-fitting. Homeworkers will feel more relaxed and productive as a result.
Instead of working in an office with interruptions and background noise, a home worker has the option of putting on some restful background music. Try something ambient rather than high energy rock with lyrics! Music can create atmospheres. If the room feels restful a person will be less likely to become stressed overwork, and their efficiency will increase as a result.
Boards and Posters
Workplaces frequently display business targets and goals. If this will help your motivation, do something similar in the home office.
Dream boards are becoming increasingly popular. Why not spend some time writing down your business goals and dreams? Set them out in large letters or cut out pictures that show the objectives. Then stick them onto a large wall poster. It will actually help rewire your brain for success and cause your subconscious mind to search for ways to achieve these goals.
Motivational posters are also worth considering. They may encourage a person on a daily basis to push through pain, and think long term. They may help someone remember to dream, whilst enjoying the daily journey.
As we have seen, it is possible to make a home office a more comfortable and productive environment. There are pros and cons to everything, but it is possible to maximize the workspace nonetheless. With the help of comfortable furniture and well-placed equipment, a person can do their job more effectively. Coffee breaks can recharge a busy person, and wall signs can send positive messages.