Was your job moved from the work office to your home office during the pandemic?
Our world is rapidly changing in some irreversible ways – so is our nation’s workforce. According to Workplace Analytics – prior to the 2020 Covid plague – approximately 43% of the workforce was able to work from home occasionally and only 3.5% of the workforce worked from home full time.
This quarantine has more businesses accepting the idea that their employees can work remotely. It is estimated that 25-30% of the workforce will work from home a couple days a week when this is all said and done.
If your company switches to remote work, will your home office be ready? Can you honestly say that your office is equipped to help you be productive?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a new home and a couple items that will help transform your office into a productive space.
Pick the right location
Some people work best in quiet, some thrive in chaos. It is important to know which kind of person you are. Pick a room in your home that melds well with your working habits. Pay attention to things like air vents, proximity to play areas, noisy pets, outdoor construction, etc. You’d be surprised how many small things can become large distractions.
Pay attention to lighting and background
Natural light and fresh air are a great way to help with mental health. Position your desk so you get plenty of light, but won’t be blinded for hours a day. Keep in mind, light can cause glare streaks on screens. If your company utilizes video calls, make sure your background is not distracting from your presentation and try not to sit with a window directly behind you. It silhouettes you and blinds your co-workers. Layer artificial light with natural light – it should help with eye strain and glare streaks. A new coat of paint can be helpful in a new office as well! Light green tones have been proven calming in office spaces. Get a plant to help oxygenate the room and don’t forget to open that window for a bit of fresh air every once in a while!
Make it ergonomic
Get comfy! If you feel uncomfortable, or start to develop pains from repetitive motions, you will become distracted. You should consider spending a little more to get a chair, desk, keyboard, and/or mouse that is ergonomically correct.
Clutter causes distraction. Eliminate unneeded items from the office and only keep essential items on your desk – computer, notepad, pen – things you need for your job. Before you start your workday or workweek try your best to eliminate clutter and chores in the rest of your home.
Keep distractions handy but hidden
Taking short breaks away from work can be beneficial to your mental health and physical health. Take a few minutes a day to look away from the computer – check the news, have a snack, do a light workout, call your mom, or down a cup of coffee. Whatever it is, it should help you refocus and destress. Make sure the distraction is handy to grab when it’s break time, but put away for work time.
Establish office schedule/rules
Distractions can be a great way to reboot the brain when you’re stuck on a problem, but hold yourself accountable to a “distraction time frame” – even the best of us can get lost in the world of social media and forget about time. Communicate do not disturb times with others in the house – it can be a sign, a closed door, or a specific time of day. Rules and schedules should help keep you in the right mindset for the job, so if that means snacks, screentime, mandatory breaks, visiting time, etc then you do you and stick to it!
Find out more about the working from home trend and more ways to spruce up the office: