Tips for a productive home office
Millions of people around the globe have had to adjust to working from home over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’ve always had a home office, or recently created what was supposed to be a “temporary” space in your home, it’s important to establish a positive work environment that’s conducive to productivity.
Following these simple tips can help decrease distractions, increase creativity, and encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Quiet: The ideal home office is located in a quiet corner of your house, away from potential distractions. However, with whole families working and learning remotely, that’s not always possible. If you’re sharing an office with a family member, noise-cancelling headphones and separate work areas are extremely beneficial.
Windows: Make sure your office has windows and try to place your desk near one. Windows let in natural light to brighten your office, and looking outside serves as a peaceful break from your screen without being distracting.
Nature: Bring a bit of nature indoors by painting your office a shade of green. While still considered a neutral color, green symbolizes growth, energy, and new beginnings. If you’re not looking to paint your walls, try adding plants (real or fake) throughout the room. Incorporating green into your office can reduce stress and help foster concentration. Disclosure 1
Enjoyment: Make sure to create a space that not only cultivates productivity, but one that you enjoy being in. Decorate your home office to reflect your personal style by including photos of pets or family members, hanging artwork on the walls, or adding your favorite candles. Creativity, efficiency, and quality work are hard to produce when working in an environment that makes you feel stressed or unhappy.
Investing in ergonomically designed furniture is essential when it comes to a productive home office. Ensure your comfort and health by including these pieces of furniture in your office:
- Adjustable office chair that supports the curve of your back
- Foot rest that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor
- Keyboard and mouse shaped to fit your hand
- Adjustable height desk so you can easily switch between sitting and standing
Since you’re most likely in your office for about 40 hours a week, you want to make sure the furniture you’re using promotes good posture and comfort. If you sit hunched over your desk for hours on end, you can sustain injuries such as back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis. Disclosure 2
Set boundaries between your work and personal life—and follow through with them!
Keep your office organized by regularly decluttering. Make sure you don’t have unnecessary papers, coffee mugs, or kids’ toys piled up around your desk. Your office should be a clean area for focused work.
As nice as it is to be able to work from the comfort of your home, try not to get too comfortable during work hours. Prepare for your day by getting dressed and following a morning routine. Even if you have no video calls scheduled for the day, make sure to change out of your pajamas! Feeling put-together can help energize and focus you.
With no commute from the office to force a stopping point at the end of the day, it’s easy to work well-beyond normal work hours. Remember to take breaks throughout the day, eat lunch, and put your work away when business hours end. Overworking yourself is not productive as it can stifle creativity and cause burnout.
Working from home shouldn’t mean that you neglect your well-being. In order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders, high blood pressure, muscle fatigue, heart disease, and other health issues, maintain good posture and switch between sitting and standing while working. Disclosure 2
Take frequent breaks throughout the day to move your body. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood, or stretching for a few minutes, breaking up your work day with exercise can help you refocus and reenergize. Disclosure 3
We’ve all experienced eye strain and headaches from staring at a screen for hours on end. Give your eyes a break by remembering the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, turn away from your computer for 20 seconds, and look at something 20 feet away from you.
Whether you’re just working remotely, meeting clients on your property, or running a business from your home, it’s important to make sure you’re properly insured. To find the right coverage, contact your McGriff broker today.
Entrepreneur Magazine, “How to Design the Ideal Home Office,” accessed Jan. 28, 2021, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/202566(opens in a new tab)
Chubb, “Tips for Creating a Safe and Healthy Home Office,” accessed Jan. 28, 2021, https://www.chubb.com/us-en/individuals-families/resources/creating-a-safe-healthy-home-office.html(opens in a new tab)
Inc. Magazine, “9 Tips to be Super Productive in Your Home Office,” accessed Jan. 28, 2021, https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/9-tips-to-increase-productivity-in-your-home-office.html(opens in a new tab)
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