More and more people are beginning to see the advantages of having a home office. Whether you use yours on a regular basis or you only need to work from there part-time, ensuring that it’s as productive a space as possible is important. If there are any distractions or it’s uncomfortable in any way, then the work you do is not going to be to a high standard. Read on to find out what you can do to make your home office more productive.
Working outside when the weather is good might seem like the ideal way to get things done. The problem is, it’s not. Working outside is actually extremely problematic; the sun makes it hard to see your screen, you might be dehydrated or sunburnt, and there are wasps and other insects to think about. It’s usually best to keep your office indoors.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t bring a little of the outside in. By adding home office plants to your room, you can have that touch of greenery without the other problems that outside working brings with it. This means you can be a lot more productive and get the best of both worlds.
As an added benefit, plants make your home office more healthy as they purify the air of toxins; this is another way they can help you be more productive. If you prefer not to have plants – perhaps because you don’t like how they look, you don’t have a lot of room, or you just can’t seem to keep them alive for long, you can improve your indoor air quality with a good air filter or HVAC unit; it’s certainly worth considering.
Because many homes were not built to be worked from, trying to squeeze in an office now that you need one can be hard. If you have a spare bedroom, that is ideal, and if you have the budget, you might even consider a garden pod to work from. However, if your home is already at full capacity, you might find that your home office has to be a converted cupboard space or the corner of another room.
When this happens, natural light can easily be missing. This is a problem since a lack of natural light can cause lower productivity. It can also be harmful to your health since it can cause eye strain and other issues.
The best thing you can do is to allow as much natural light into your home office as possible, ensuring better productivity. If you can’t have a window or skylight, look for a lamp that mimics daylight. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it’s close, and it will help.
Watch The Temperature
Your body is an amazing thing; it knows – thanks to its circadian rhythm – when it’s time to wake, sleep, eat, and anything else it might need to do. Unfortunately, the circadian rhythm is also rather delicate, and many things can throw it off course. Not having enough natural sunlight is one of them, for example.
Another reason the circadian rhythm can be affected is temperature. If a room is too cold, the body might assume that the sun has set and therefore that it’s getting closer to sleep time, thus the body will start to feel tired, and less work will be done. If the office is too hot, the brain might send signals to the body that there is danger, and energy will be diverted to your organs as a way to save the body as much as possible; this will make you feel tired too, and again, you don’t do much work.
It’s best to keep your home office between 20 and 25 degrees for the best working conditions.
Have A Dedicated Office Space
Whether you live in a big house or a small apartment, it’s important to have a separate place to work, away from your ‘home life’. If you have the space, it’s great to have a room set up as an office, but at the very least, you need a desk or a specific spot at the kitchen table that you only use for work.
This will make you feel like you’re going to work every day, even if you’re only a few steps from your bed. When you’re working instead of just sitting around your house, you’ll notice a big difference in how well you can focus and get things done.
Stay Organized And Clean
People say that if your space is messy, your mind will be too. For most people, this is true. Simply put, a cluttered workspace can be distracting for some people and utterly stressful for others.
So, don’t leave piles of laundry and dishes around, and consider your desk the same way you might if you were hot desking with other people in an office: clean it up at the end of each work day and make sure you have enough space to store bills and other work-related documents and items.
Design Your Layout Based On Your Needs
Research shows that the way workplaces are set up is changing to fit the needs of each employee. For example, different environments are being set up for collaboration, focused work, meetings, etc.
How you set up your home office will depend not only on how much room you have, but also on what your business needs. Will you need to hold meetings or meet with clients? Will your guests need a couch or other places to sit?
Do you need whiteboards, pinboards, or space on the wall to plan? How many computer screens and other tools do you need to do your job, and where will you put them all? It’s important to think about all of these things and make sure the setup lets you set goals for each day.
Make Sure You Have The Right Tech
One of the biggest things that can stop you from being productive in your home office is not having the right tools. If you can, set up the tech in your home office just like it would be in an outside office. Depending on your job, you may need to set up things like a number of monitors, a phone headset, a home office printer or photocopier/scanner, and so on.
It’s also crucial to ensure you have the computer software you need for your job. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t have access to all the programs you’d like, you can often find great free or cheap online alternatives. Spend some time looking into your options.