Working from home may sound like a vacation, but it comes with its own obstacles. One of the largest of those obstacles is maintaining productivity. You’ve designed your home to be as comfortable and relaxing as possible. To be productive at home, you must change your works space to encourage productivity not relaxation. A few of the right changes can have a significant influence on your productivity and your pay check.
Your Work Space
To maximise your productivity, you must create a visually separate work space in your home. Spare rooms make ideal home offices. If you cannot spare the space, designate a section of a room as your work space. Any room other than the one you sleep in is ideal. Entering this space day after day during work hours will signal your brain that relaxation time is over and work time has begun. This functional office will increase your motivation, focus and productivity.
The temperature of your work space has a big impact on your productivity. A 2004 Cornell University study found that warm, comfortable workers make fewer errors and are roughly 10 per cent more productive. Electric heaters are a great way to increase your productivity. Small electric heaters in your work area will help you control the temperature in your space without the expense of central heating or the inconvenience of changing the temperature for everyone in the house.
The Right Chair
It’s hard to concentrate if your back hurts. The right office chair will help you maintain a comfort level that will not only keep you working but also prevent injury and chronic pain. When searching for a an office chair, remember that every back is different. Look for an office chair that is highly adjustable or one with a flexible plastic or mesh back that will mould to your shape. For a more stimulating experience, choose a chair with no back at all. Your body will move into a natural, comfortable shape and the muscles required to hold it there will give you a stimulating workout. Keep any electric heaters behind the chair, not under the desk where they may ignite papers or melt wiring.
Now that you have a warm, comfortable work space, you must keep it clean. When you work at home, time is money. Digging through clutter wastes time and builds stress and frustration. Assign everything a place. Filing cabinets, inbox’s and bulletin boards keep papers in their place. Choose a desk with drawers to keep other clutter organised and out of sight.
A plant or two will make an ideal final touch to a productive work environment. A Washington State University study found that workers with plants in their offices were 12% more productive and had lower blood pressure than workers without plants in their office. Hang a plant from the ceiling or place one on your desk. Choose a species that requires little attention and grows well in an indoor environment.
Electric heaters, plants and organisers are small changes. However, their combined effects go a long way to create a measurable change in your productivity in your home office.