6 Ways to Manage Home Office Life – Working From Home
Working from home is a foreign concept for most, but it’s quickly becoming the norm for many people around the world. While not ideal, some have been forced to hastily create makeshift workspaces, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel makeshift. But don’t worry, there are some simple ways you can improve your home office and turn it into a comfortable space to conquer the grueling workweek.
Picking workday essentials, such as office chairs, desktop organizers, and computer equipment is now your responsibility. If there was ever a time you’d want to jazz up your home office space, whether big or small, now would be that time. Working from home can be a big change from your daily life and routines, but why not make the best of it? To help, here are 6 ways you can easily manage your home office life!
1. Keep Your Work Separate from Your Home
If you don’t already have a designated home office, you should set up your workspace in an area that isn’t frequently used. Consider somewhere like a spare room, in the corner of your living room, or another area of your home that isn’t used as often. If you’re more adventurous and live in a warmer area, setting up shop on the patio may also be a viable option.
Working behind a closed door is the most ideal, as there’s value to keeping your workspace away from high-traffic areas in your home. Not only will this keep you focused while working, but you’ll find it easier to unwind after the workday. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It may seem like a no-brainer, but this may very well be the most impactful change you can make while working from home.
2. Natural Light and Taking Breaks Are Key
Year over year, studies and research have suggested the same thing: natural light can boost productivity and provide you with a slew of other benefits. According to Dr. Allen Hedge of Cornell University, natural light can increase employee’s physical health. His research states that employees with access to natural light reported significant decreases in eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness.
A Harvard study has also found that employees that have access to windows and natural light in their workplace displayed a 70% increase in overall productivity and work performance.
Although you may want to finish your work as quickly as possible, taking breaks is important for your body, mental health, and quality of work. Studies have shown that stepping away from projects and taking a breather can improve your overall wellbeing and your productivity too. Not only can it help you complete your tasks, but taking a walk around the house can actually boost your creative thinking. As if you needed another reason to stretch your legs and get the blood flowin’, sitting for extended periods can be more dangerous than smoking cigarettes.
So, what are you waiting for? Get up and start moving, and open those curtains to soak up that sunlight while you’re at it!
3. Make Everything as Smart as You
You’re smart, right? Maybe it’s time that your home caught up with you?
Having a voice assistant device, such as an Amazon Echo or a Google Home Hub around the house is already useful, but it can be even more beneficial when working from home. You can use your voice assistant to do things like set alarms that will remind you when to take a break, ask general questions and get quick facts, solve simple math problems, setup meetings, update your schedule/calendar, set timers to signal the end of your break, and much more!
You can even use your voice assistant to control devices around your home with the addition of a wi-fi compatible smart device. If you aren’t looking to tear open your walls to install a smart switch yourself, Wi-Fi plugs are an easy-to-use substitute. If you don’t have a voice assistant, don’t worry; smart plugs allow you to control connected devices using an app on your smartphone. While you’re working, you won’t need to stop your flow and get up just to turn on your fan, lights, space heater, etc. You can even utilize your smart plug to set lighting schedules, timers, and even monitor energy use in real-time.
4. Get Comfortable
One of the last things you might think about is your office furniture, but it may be the most important when it comes to comfort and focus. More than likely, you’re at your desk for 40 hours a week (if not more), why not have a chair that keeps you comfortable and pain-free?
Not everyone wants to spend money on an expensive chair, but you may want to put some more thought towards the issue before dismissing it completely. Think about it like this: on average, you will spend over 2,000 hours a year sitting in your office chair. That’s close to the same amount of time the average adult spends sleeping. So, why not make buying a desk chair as important as buying a mattress?
Having a chair that you won’t think about sitting in all day goes a long way, especially if it’s ergonomic and reduces back/neck pain. If a high-dollar chair isn’t in your budget, don’t worry, there are still plenty of great options available. However, our bottom line is that it may not be a drastic decision to invest in one of the best chairs available.
5. Protect Your Equipment
Just like investing in a great chair, protecting your electronics is equally as important. For most, that includes computers, monitors, printers, and even smartphones. To protect your home office assets, consider buying a surge protector strip or wall tap to ensure the safety of your devices.
Surge protectors use internal technology that provides a safe and compact buffer for any electrical issues or surges. If you were to use a power strip that isn’t protected, you could very well run into a situation where a power surge damages, or worse, destroys your office equipment. Imagine if you had been working on an important project or didn’t have your files backed up, in a moment’s time: everything would be gone. Worst-case scenarios aside, it’s always convenient to have more flexibility and outlet space to power all your essential devices.
6. Organize, Organize, Organize
Keeping things organized can be tough when you’re working from home, but it’s important for not only your productivity but for your peace of mind. Maybe you’re saying to yourself as you read this, “Well, duh!” but you’d be surprised how many people could use this reminder. Not only is a messy, cluttered desk annoying, but it’s also been found in a recent study that organization can help you stay focused and clear your mind of distractions.
That being said, there are easy ways to keep yourself organized at home. For example, all those pens and pencils lying around everywhere, toss those into a cup or mason jar to keep them in one place. Purchasing a simple desktop organizer can be a great way to store all your files, folders, and other odds and ends. While you’re at it, don’t forget the little things like keeping your wires organized with zip ties or cable organizers.