Working from home is increasingly common. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that almost a quarter of the workforce spends time working from home, with many of those people working full-time jobs from their home office. It’s not unreasonable to expect that these numbers will continue to climb. If workers want to feel productive and comfortable in their home office, it just takes a little bit of planning and thoughtfulness.
The challenge of customizing a productive home office can be time-consuming, but it’s a process that should be embraced. No matter how you look at it, your home office is an improvement from a cubicle. With full control of the space, it’s possible to create a work environment that is ergonomically sound and provides all of the comfortable amenities that you might be denied in an office building.
Choosing the Right Chair
It all starts with a chair. When you’re sitting for hours at your home desk, you’re going to become very familiar with the upsides and downsides of the chair you’ve settled on. Before you purchase one, it’s important to try it out first. Many consumers will enter a retail store and choose a chair based on aesthetics or the advice of a salesperson, but until you’ve used it you won’t know if it’s right for you. Bad chairs can result in aches and pains and can eliminate your hopes of productivity.
It’s also important to make sure that you can adjust the different parts of the chair. The best office chairs are going to be able to rotate 360 degrees and allow you to rock back and forth. The bouncing function enhances lumbar support and will prevent you from developing health issues that can easily be avoided.
The Perfect Desk
If you’ve picked out the perfect chair, the next step is to find the right desk. It’s important to find one that has enough space for your work needs, and can fit your computer and Samsung printer without getting too crowded.
Many people don’t seem to mind fixed-height desks, which can’t be adjusted to go higher or lower. However, for the modern worker who wants to switch between standing and sitting at work, adjustable-height desks can offer a more dynamic work environment.
Standing desks are perfect for employees who find they get tired at work. Standing increases blood flow and can allow you to stay focused throughout the day. They can also help fend off back pain. If you’re a tall person and have to constantly hunch over a fixed-height desk, over time the consequences will manifest in avoidable aches and pains.
If a worker is facing a bright light source—like a window that receives direct sunlight—it’s not uncommon to develop headaches. Ideally, for those who want to achieve maximum productivity, light will hit your desk from the side. This prevents squinting and straining of the eyes and can lead to longer and more successful working hours.
Many workers also complain about the glare reflected in their laptop screen. Just like a light source that directly faces your desk, a glare on your screen can make it harder to see your work and can become incredibly frustrating. If you have framed art, glare can also become a problem. When positioning your desk lamp, make sure that it’s aimed at the spaces in front of or beside your computer, and make sure your monitor is tilted towards your eyes.
One of the main complaints about the traditional cubicle workspace is that it doesn’t allow you to make any adjustments. The furniture is stuck in place, and workers have virtually no options when it comes to design. When you’re outfitting your home office for maximum productivity, you’re given an opportunity to design a space that offers desired flexibility.
The key to a modular workspace is allowing yourself to embrace wheels. When you’re buying your chair and desk, make sure that they have wheels attached to the legs. If you have a heavy filing cabinet, having wheels attached to the bottom will allow you to move it around your workspace without straining yourself. It’s a simple but clever solution that will inevitably improve your productivity.
Designing a productive home office can be time-consuming, but it’s certainly worth it. For freelancers who don’t receive an hourly fee, a more productive office space means that you will get more projects completed. For everyone else, it means more comfort during work hours. There are no downsides, and you will be grateful down the line!