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If you’re working from home, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time at your desk. How your home office is organised will affect your productivity, comfort and accomplishments.
The following includes five tried and true ways to redesign your home office to increase productivity.
Choose your location wisely
Feng shui refers to the auspicious arrangement of objects in space to achieve harmony. In other words, the location and positioning of your home office matters.
Start by placing your desk in the power position. You should be able to see the door from your office chair. Be sure to have a solid wall behind you instead of windows. Not only will this create a glare on your screen, but according to feng shui principle, you will lack support and authority. Make sure the view from your desk is pleasant, but not distracting.
It is important to separate your workspace and your personal life. Your home should feel like a refuge, while your office should promote mental clarity and focus. Place your home office in a separate room or area of the house. This is especially important if others will be home while you’re working as it will help reduce distractions. If your office is in the bedroom, use a room divider or even a large rug to separate the two areas.
Update your facilities
In this day and age, you’ll likely be spending most of your day working from a computer. A fast internet connection is your number one priority.
Having all the supplies and software at hand will minimise disruptions in the workplace. Spring clean your whole office and remove anything that’s unnecessary. Then, assign all remaining items their place to prevent cluttering. A cluttered office will reflect a cluttered mind.
You’ll be surprised at how much lighting can affect your productivity. Exposure to bright daytime lighting has been proven to be associated with lower daytime sleepiness.
Where natural light is not possible, opt for ambient, diffuse lighting over harsh light sources. Lampshades and recessed ceiling lighting are typically chosen in workplaces for these reasons.
Direct light, however, will be very beneficial in focus-intensive work. Lamps are useful for work such as filing and sketching.
Likewise, too much light can also cause a decline in productivity. Harsh, direct light can cause headaches, glare on your screen and eye strain. Prepare your office with both adequate lighting and lighting control using blinds or a screen.
Postural pain will contribute to reduced productivity. Sit as far back in your chair as possible to support your lumbar spine and encourage good posture.
Your eyes should be positioned looking near the top of the computer screen. This way, your chin will be parallel to the floor, preventing neck strain.
Your forearms should also be positioned parallel to the floor. If your wrists point upwards when using a keyboard, consider wrist support to prevent RSI. Soft support will also encourage circulation through the wrists and fingers.
To improve circulation through your lower extremities, raise your feet with a footrest. This will reduce pressure from both your legs and lower back.
Plan your day
Most people are visual learners. Using visual aids to plan your day will help you prioritise work and become more time-efficient. Organisational software is becoming more popular in the workplace. Otherwise, the old-school methods of whiteboards, post-it notes and calendars are also great ways to plan your day.
Redesigning your home office to promote productivity doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of cost-efficient ways to do so. Small tweaks in desk position, lighting and visual planning may be all you need for that extra boost in productivity.
Cloe Matheson is a Dunedin, Fla.-based creative writer who has written articles on a wide array of topics about travel, health & wellness, lifestyle and career. Read more of her works on Writings of Cloe.
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