Not everyone has the luxury of working from home so whether you’re temporarily setting up a home office or that’s the new normal, think about how you can make the most of it.
Here are a couple of things you can do to set up your home office to maximize productivity.
Location, Location Location:
- Although most of us don’t have the ability to lock ourselves in an impenetrable vault, safe from distractions, we can choose to set up a home office out of the more heavily trafficked areas of our homes.
- Having a window near your office can help make you feel less confined or claustrophobic. Pro-tip: don’t have the window directly in front of you if you are easily distracted by attractive neighbors, woodland creatures, mailmen or attractive woodland mailmen.
- Neutral and soothing colors will encourage productivity.
- If you have a job that requires creativity, throw in a pop of color or fun artwork to add some energy and visual inspiration.
The Most Important Part – The Desk & Chair:
- Make sure your chair and desk height maximize comfort and health.
- When deciding on your office chair there are three things to look for:
- Lower back support
- Cushioned seats that don’t cut off the circulation to your legs
- Long flat armrest
- A long arm rest is better for resting your elbows while typing and can also help bridge the gap between your chair and the desk when you’re manipulating a mouse. At OVH we’ve gone one step farther and added a wireless trackball mouse to the front end of each chair. Not only don’t we ever have to reach for the mouse on the desk but our arms are always in a comfortable resting position as we work.
- We also hook up our tablets, laptops and PCs to extra large monitors. This combination allows us to spend significantly longer time leaning back in our chairs. Beware, however, that this can lead to unintentional napping on the job.
Setting up your day:
- Work with a specific purpose. Before you even sit down to work it’s always helpful to have a set of tasks and goals in mind. Not only will it give you a sense of purpose but it will help keep you on task and focused.
- Getting up unnecessarily is the enemy of productivity. If you know what you’re setting out to do you can make sure you have all the necessary papers, receipts, books or office supplies within reach before you sit down. That goes double for your coffee, tea or water.
- Set a time goal for your task such as: “I want to complete this project by 3 p.m.” or “I want to create a graph before my lunch break”. Having a deadline will help motivate you to stay focused.
- When you jump back and forth from work and personal time you never get to fully immerse yourself in either. Setting a regular work schedule for yourself when you work from home can help delineate the difference between your down time and your work time.
- Completing tasks makes you feel good about yourself and therefore enhances your relaxation and makes you feel more at peace. Make a list and feel the joy as you mark things off!
- Distractions add up and make your work day seem longer. If possible refrain from playing with pets, between-meal snacking, doing any household chores, personal phone calls and spiraling into the abyss of social media.