More Americans are working from home than ever before. Advances in telecommunications technology and faster Wi-Fi speeds make it easier for people to collaborate remotely. While working from home is convenient, it isn’t always easy.
You may find yourself getting distracted by kids, pets, and household chores like cooking and cleaning. Finding ways to cope is critical. For example, you might usually keep kids entertained when traveling with word games. Why not do the same when you’re at your desk?
Setting up a dedicated office space is another way to foster focus and productivity. Read on to find out how to create a workspace where you can thrive professionally.
5 Tips for Setting Up a Home Office to Foster Focus and Productivity
Setting up a great home office doesn’t require home remodeling or a massive investment in pricey tech tools. Here’s how to easily create a workspace where you can flourish professionally as an entrepreneur or small business owner.
1. Create an Ergonomic Desk and Chair Setup
When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to slouch on the couch or take a seat at the kitchen table. Bad posture while working can wreak havoc on your spine, however. Neck aches and back pain will only distract you from your work more. American chiropractors have warned of increased injuries due to harmful work-from-home setups.
Be proactive about creating a workspace that promotes good posture. The Mayo Clinic has tips for setting up an ergonomic workspace. Get a desk chair with lumbar support for your lower back. It should also have armrests. Otherwise, your shoulders have to strain to hold up your arms. Set your chair up, so your feet are flat on the floor and thighs parallel to the ground.
2. Adjust Your Monitor
Another problem with working from home is digital eye strain. After a day of staring at your computer screen, you may notice that your eyes feel dry. Your vision may be blurry or cloudy, and you may even suffer headaches as a result. A headache makes it challenging to get work done and should be avoided at all costs.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce digital eye strain. Set up your monitor so it’s at least one arm’s length away from you. You can also invest in blue-light-blocking lenses if you wear glasses. Finally, practice the 20-20-20 trick. Every 20 minutes, stop working for 20 seconds and look at a point away from your screen that is at least 20 feet away. This gives your eyes a break.
3. Bump Up the Lighting
You can also minimize the risk of tired eyes with appropriate lighting in your office space. Avoid fluorescent overhead lighting, which tends to create an unpleasant and clinical atmosphere. Instead, place lights in the corners of the rooms, illuminating your surroundings from all corners. Opt for “soft white” LED bulbs, which avoid a harsh glare and save money.
Ideally, set up your office space in a room with windows. Keep the curtains open to let in lots of natural light. All of this lighting can boost productivity and even enhance your mood. Research suggests that sufficient lighting boosts productivity. Additionally, sunlight effectively combats seasonal affective disorder, SAD, so letting light into your workspace will also keep you healthy.
4. Add Some Greenery
Once you have the essential elements in place, you can start paying attention to the smaller details. One of the best things you can do to create a soothing, stress-free, and productive workspace is to bring some plants into the room. Why? For one thing, plants improve indoor air quality. A breath of fresh air helps get valuable oxygen to your brain and sustains concentration.
Additionally, scientists believe that plants in the workplace reduce stress. When your patience is tested, the sight of some greenery can calm you down. Opt for easy-to-care-for plants that won’t require a lot of commitment. English ivy, African violets, and snake plants (Sansevieria) are all great picks. They are hardy and don’t need much water or sunlight to thrive.
5. Hang a Sign on the Door
This last tip for setting up a productive office space at home is especially valuable if you are a working parent! Juggling child care and your job can be a handful. You might usually keep kids entertained when traveling with word games and try to do the same when you’re working from home. However, little ones will still require regular attention throughout the day.
Nonetheless, it’s essential to set boundaries. Hanging a sign on the door to indicate when you shouldn’t be interrupted is useful. You can use it for conference calls, for example. Explain to little ones that when the sign is up, they should only come to you in case of urgent situations. Or, better yet, they should consult your partner.
The Final Word on Creating the Perfect Home Office Space
Creating a dedicated home office space will require some time and energy. It will be well worth the effort, however. You will find it easier to concentrate on your work and get your tasks done faster when you can focus without distractions. Follow this step-by-step guide, and you will soon have a workspace where you can thrive.
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