If you’re one of the many people working from home these days, you might feel a bit out of your element. Working from home is a dream for many Americans. It takes special skills to turn that dream into a reality. Thankfully, anyone can learn how to maximize their work-from-home experience. Here are six tips for building a winning home office.
1. Employ Automated Solutions
The internet offers a bewildering array of tools that can streamline your business processes. Project management software enables file-sharing and can help coordinate remote teams. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions such as Skype can limit costly in-person meetings and commutes. Cloud computing powers applications such as payroll and document-signing apps. Learning about the technologies involved (such as Prometheus metrics measurement) is advisable. Shop around for the solutions demanded by your unique needs.
2. Create an Ergonomic Workspace
Ergonomics is the science of how human bodies interact with elements of the surrounding physical environment. Ergonomic workspaces can make a massive impact on the ease and speed of your work. Poorly-designed desks and chairs necessitate extra movement. This causes strain and decreases efficiency. Consider at least purchasing ergonomic chairs. Proper desk posture and optimized equipment spacing are also worth looking into. Design the space around your own needs.
3. Use Color Psychology
When designing your workspace, pay special attention to the color scheme. Various colors can impact productivity and mood. Moreover, different colors affect productivity in varying endeavors. Some meanings associated with colors are biologically-based, and others are culturally learned. Whatever the case, a few specific trends are clear. For instance, the color red appears to speed up reaction times, while blue produces a calming effect. Using science to optimize your office is a good strategy.
4. Streamline Organization
Organization is another key to creating an effective office environment. Take a cue from Marie Kondo and purge your space of all unnecessary items. Whatever isn’t either discarded or donated should go in unobtrusive containers. Having a filing cabinet will aid in systematizing everything you keep. Keep your desk clear of everything but the basics to minimize distractions. Digital tools like calendar apps can aid this process and help keep waste paper to a minimum. Remember to keep your space sanitary, too. Cleanliness is beneficial to your physical and mental well-being.
5. Incorporate Nature
You are a part of the natural world. It isn’t surprising that incorporating the natural world into your office can boost productivity. One example is daylighting. A Cornell University study showed that natural daylight reduced eye strain by 51% among office workers. Similarly, UK research discovered that incorporating plant life into offices boosted production by 15%. Some of these plants (like the spider plant) can help remove toxic chemicals from the air. You don’t have to adopt a fully “green” lifestyle to benefit from making nature an integral part of your workspace.
6. Prioritize Your Health
Healthy workers are generally more productive than unhealthy ones. Healthy workers are happier too. These two things (productivity and mental well-being) are indelibly linked. Putting health first goes beyond hand sanitizer and wipes. Take regular breaks to stretch, exercise, and relax your eyes.
Remember that even the foods you eat can have an impact on your mental state and productivity. Savvy managers are starting to choose foods for break rooms that are rich in nutrients like complex carbohydrates and magnesium. The former nutrient is an energy booster while the latter helps to promote healthier brain functions.
Working from home can be the best of both worlds. Optimizing your home office is critical to realizing that potential. These tips are just the beginning.