Saturday, December 4, 2021
HomeBusiness11 Tips for a Comfortable and Productive Home Office

11 Tips for a Comfortable and Productive Home Office

Working from home is a unique experience that comes with plenty of pros and cons. And whether you’re working from home by choice, or your employer decided to transition you into a remote role, the right home office makes a world of difference.

11 Home Office Tips

A home office should be comfortable enough to put you into a state of flow, but not so comfortable that you’re prone to dozing off. This delicate balance can typically be achieved using tips like:

1. Keep it Minimalistic

Clutter does nothing but create confusion and chaos in the office. While there’s something to be said for incorporating design elements that are fun and intriguing, too much “stuff” is problematic. A minimalist approach to design will serve you well.

Every time you place something in your office, ask yourself what purpose it serves. And though there’s a time and place for beauty, function always supersedes form (in terms of importance).

In the age of Pinterest, focusing on function over form is a challenge. But remember that the sleek office designs you see on social media aren’t always functional enough to meet the needs of a 50-hour workweek.

As Fast Company puts it, “Upholstered dining room chairs look amazing, but they won’t support your back. Tiny vintage desks won’t accommodate your project files, and while some people like bright colors, you might get annoyed looking at a whole wall of fire engine red paint right above your computer, even if that makes your office look awesome in a photograph.”

2. Invest in a Good Office Chair

A good office chair can do wonders for you. If you’re going to open up the wallet and splurge on anything, this is it.

The best office chairs are extremely easy to tweak and optimize to your needs. From the chair’s height to the armrests to the back support, every element can be manipulated to ensure an ergonomically-friendly setup.

3. Keep the Right Temperature

Having the right office temperature is important for being comfortable and productive. And while we all have our own individual preferences, studies show that the ideal temperature is somewhere between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. (It might be slightly warmer for women, who have lower metabolic rates and greater body fat – making them more susceptible to cold temperatures.)

If you’re the only one in your house during the day, it doesn’t make sense to heat or cool the entire home just so you can have a comfortable home office. Instead, we recommend installing an electric fireplace for the winter months and a portable air conditioning unit for the warmer months.

4. Choose a Soothing Color Palette

Don’t underestimate the importance of color psychology and the ways different paint colors can make you feel. Certain colors like red and orange can put you on high alert, while other colors create a calming effect that makes it easier to focus.

Generally speaking, neutral colors like white, gray, and beige are the best. However, soft blue pastels also work well. The key is to keep things simple and to avoid anything “loud.” You’re designing a space for productivity – not a magazine centerspread.

5. Buy a Standing Desk

Did you know that sitting for most of the day actually leads to less productivity, greater fatigue, more cardiovascular issues, and a higher risk of chronic pain and obesity?

While there’s nothing wrong with sitting for a couple of hours during the workday, you can dramatically improve your energy and focus by incorporating a standing desk into your home office. And if you choose a motorized option, you can quickly transition from sitting to standing without any delay.

6. Incorporate Natural Light

If possible, choose a home office location that provides plenty of natural light. Studies show that natural light makes people more productive in office settings. It also leads to less eye strain and fatigue, which allows you to spend more time engaged in meaningful work.

7. Deal With Noise

Noise is one of the biggest challenges with working in a home office – particularly if you live with a roommate, spouse, or kids. And if you don’t do anything about the noise, things like kids screaming or roommates watching TV in the other room can easily become a productivity killer. Here are some suggestions to make this less of an issue:

  • Install a solid core door in your office. These doors are much better sound absorbers than the typical hollow core door. You might also consider adding a bottom sweep or vinyl weatherstripping to the bottom of the door to further keep sound out.
  • Got lots of noise coming from above? Consider installing a layer of acoustic sound tiles or insulation and then adding new boards or drywall over it.
  • Invest in a good quality pair of noise canceling headphones. You want a pair that has active noise canceling, meaning it actually has an electronic component inside that neutralizes noises.

If noise is a huge problem, layering multiple of these elements together will improve results and restore your own sanity.

8. Establish Boundaries

You don’t have any control over what happens outside of your home. But when it comes to what’s going on inside your home, well, you have more influence than you realize. If you’re finding it difficult to be productive because of distracting loved ones or roommates, it’s best to have a conversation sooner rather than later.

Transitioning from a traditional office outside of the home to a home office is a big move for the other people living in your home. Establish boundaries and make sure they know that when your office door is closed, you’re “at work” and can’t be bothered.

9. Play With Scents

Much like a soothing color palette can have a positive impact on your productivity, pleasing aromas can help you get more done.

While candles can be nice, we recommend investing in some essential oils (which are proven to have a number of health benefits). More specifically, try peppermint. This soothing aroma is known to boost energy levels. Mix it with rosemary, which is renowned for increasing concentration, and you’ll have a productivity-boosting concoction.

10. Take Productive Breaks

All work and no play makes a remote worker a dull boy. As counterintuitive as it seems, taking regular breaks throughout the day actually helps you get more done. More specifically, you need to get out of your office multiple times throughout the day. (Walking down the hall to the bathroom doesn’t count!)

As a general rule of thumb, a 10-minute break after two hours provides a good boost. You’ll also want to take a 30- to 45-break in the middle of the day. (Ideally, this is when you eat lunch.)

11. Have Snacks on Hand

Breaks are good, but once you leave your office, you’re confronted with a house full of potential distractions. Distractions are especially common in the kitchen. So rather than subject yourself to distractions every time you need something to eat, we recommend keeping a snack drawer in your office. (Just make it healthy!)

Feel Better, Work Better

As you know from personal experience, you perform better when you feel better. And considering that you spend 30, 40, or 50-plus hours per week working in your home office, it’s imperative that you feel good in the space. Let these tips guide you to designing and optimizing a better home office experience.

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