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With the increasing number of organizations allowing employees teleworking options and today’s growing gig economy, proper home office setup ideas are becoming more relevant. People love the flexibility that working from home provides, saving time spent commuting, allowing flexible arrangements and avoiding office distractions.
That is not to say that working from home doesn’t have its own built-in complications. While you may not be able to control how demanding your work life is, you can design your home office for optimal productivity.
Part of optimizing productivity is designing a home office that is completely separate from the rest of your home in order to set boundaries; mixing the two can blur the line between your personal and work life.
The Right Layout and Organization
Having a place for everything in your office is one way to help stay organized and focused. Many will spend the majority of their time at a desk, so keeping the surface clutter-free by using drawers and filing solutions is always a good idea. Consider the right desk for your space allocation. As for the desk’s surface, there are many options for organizing papers, gathering pens and pencils, and making room for additional office supplies.
Larger storage solutions can include file cabinets, bookcases, cabinets and shelving units, bins and drawers or go paperless. Not only will these storage spaces help keep your workspace neat, but they will also save you time when trying to locate items.
For work and health purposes, it is much better for a home office to have an ergonomic office chair which promotes better posture while providing support and comfort. For ease of recline, look for chairs that have a tilt mechanism and tile lock, as well as seat and back height adjustments for optimal positioning.
Other things you can ask yourself when choosing an office chair:
- Is the seat pan comfortable, and does it fit your shape?
- Is the chair backrest large enough to provide good support?
- Is there enough hip room when you sit back against the lumbar support?
- Do you need armrests?
- Does the chair provide good lumbar support in reclining positions?
A variety of studies show that good chair ergonomics combined with correct body posture can lead to improved productivity. For example, one study from the Institute for Work & Health provided adjustable chairs and ergonomic training to a group of some 200 office-working tax collectors, then measured their comfort levels and productivity. The new chairs yielded dramatic results as well as productivity increases of almost 18%.
Older equipment and software eventually require upgrades, or workflow needs may have changed. Choosing an all-in-one printer can combine multiple peripherals into one simple unit, allowing for more desktop space. If printing in high volumes, an upgrade from an inkjet to laser printer just might be the thing.
A new computer with the latest security software can better protect against hacking or malware. And along with a more powerful computer, a faster internet connection can boost speed and productivity, as well as provide alternatives for where you choose to work via wireless connectivity.
Newer equipment tends to be more energy-efficient, helping to save on utility bills, and many come with a smaller footprint to free up valuable home office space. Think about the possibility of trading a cumbersome desktop computer system for a sleek laptop that can be stored safely in a desk drawer.
Mistakes Made in Home Office Design
A healthier work-life balance can be achieved by keeping work equipment, files and other supplies in the office away from living spaces to make a clearer distinction between the two mindsets. So, next time you indulge in a hearty breakfast with a warm cup of coffee, avoid bringing it over to your desk and consume your meal in its proper place, in the kitchen or dining room.
Other challenges to home office setup ideas which can undermine mood and productivity include but are not limited to: a cluttered office space, bad lighting and non-ergonomic office furniture.