The perfect home office requires more than just a space.
COVID-19 has many people working from home and finding themselves in need of a space to work they can call their own. Kids, the TV, the dog, the doorbell—it’s hard to focus and get through a conference call uninterrupted, much less finish a proposal. Working from home requires a home office or workspace that is designated as such.
Find the Right Chair
The right chair may be the most important part of your office. If you're not comfortable, you're not going to be able to focus or get much done. Your favorite lounge chair may wreak havoc on your neck and back if you don’t have the correct posture when typing or reading.
“For a home-office throne, adjustability is also king. A swivel seat prevents the back and neck from twisting, as do wheels (ideally five). Workers should adjust the chair’s pan height – the distance from the floor to the seat itself – by moving the seat up and down. The pan depth – from where a person’s bottom meets the backrest to their knees – should also be adjustable. Similarly, employees will want the option to lock the chair’s angle into place, allowing them to recline slightly rather than hunching forward. While armrests should move as well, they shouldn’t push up the shoulders or prevent workers from getting close to the desk. If budget won’t allow adjustable armrests, which often come at a premium, skip them altogether.”
Set Daily Work Hours
Courtesy of Unsplash
Having a daily schedule is also important when working from home. Make sure you're able to balance out work for the designated work hours, with a set time to start and end each day. Maintain a schedule is key because it's very easily to get distracted or come up with household projects for yourself to do instead of your work. Block out in your calendar a 30-minute break a few times a day so you can get up and stretch, eat some food, and give your eyes a rest from staring at the screen all day.
Dress and Act Like You're Going to Work
Courtesy of Pixabay
Dressing up for work at home is important to not only get work done, but it also helps your state of mind.
"Research shows that how we feel is affected by what we wear because clothes carry both a practical and symbolic meaning that can impact our behavior. Wearing more professional attire makes you feel more focused and productive. Loungewear like pajamas, baggy sweaters, and sweatpants can put you in a less attentive state, since you usually wear these clothes when you're trying to relax," according to studies at Ashford University.
Close Your Door
If you're lucky enough to have a door to close and children old enough to watch themselves, close it during meetings or when you need to focus on work. If you have constant interruptions from your older children, put a sign on the door that says, “Do Not Disturb unless it’s an Emergency”, when you need to. Closing the door will also symbolize “work-time” to you and prevent you from jumping up and checking on every doorbell ring or interruption you hear.
Courtesy of Pixabay
Lighting in your home office is of utmost importance. A dim-lit room can really make you tired, give you headaches, and decrease productivity, as can an overly bright room with florescent lights where you squint all day. Natural light from a window is optimal and sunshine is a natural mood-lifter.
Dim lighting can also cause depression, as evidenced by a paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). In the article, they detail how “inadequate lighting can contribute to the poor response to treatment of and exacerbation of psychiatric conditions, including mood disorders,” while bright lights have potent therapeutic and biological effects.”
What tips do you have for the perfect home office? Let us know in comments!