22 Jul 8 Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office
Our work environment greatly impacts performance and mindset. With working from home as the new norm and with more people taking on side hustles, being able to increase productivity in the home office is key.
According to Forbes, employees tend to spend more than 50% of their waking hours at work.
For this reason alone, it is important to design a workspace that promotes efficient, happy, and healthy workdays.
Whether you have a proper home office or share a spot at the dining table, the goal is to create an environment conducive for productivity and creative flow.
Keep reading for 8 ways to increase productivity while working at home.
#1 Create a Space You Enjoy Working In
Whether you’re in a remote full-time job or side hustle from home, having a home office to work from is one of the best ways to increase productivity.
The more you like the space you call the “office,” the more likely you are to get things done.
The first step is to claim your space. Ideally, you would have a home office or an unused room you convert into one.
However, if this isn’t possible, aim to find a quiet corner of the house, away from possible distraction.
Then consider how you can turn the area where you spend several hours of the day into a space that’s both enjoyable and conducive for work.
Use these productivity design tips to get started…
- Pick your color wisely. Red is conducive to energy, green unlocks creative thinking, and blue is calming. When it comes to color in your office space, the important thing is to select one that inspires and makes you feel uplifted.
- Optimize for natural light. A 2018 study found that optimizing the amount of natural light in a home office significantly improves health, wellness, and productivity.
- Add inspirational art. Hang a painting, motivational quote, or personal photograph on the wall of your home office. Images like this also enhance well-being and help with creative thinking.
[Related Read: Get More Done: How to Set Up an Efficient Home Office]
#2 Get Comfortable
It can be challenging to maintain productivity when you’re uncomfortable.
An achy back from continued sitting or sore eyes from straining will negatively affect your work.
Invest in a good office chair that promotes an ergonomic position while sitting at your desk or table.
We recommend the Hbada Office Desk Chair. Its backrest fits the natural curve of the lower back offering comfort during long days at the desk.
For some, even with the proper chair, sitting too long still does a number on the back or neck.
Use a footrest to support your feet as needed or try an adjustable standing desk to ease discomfort.
When using a monitor, make sure to place it directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away.
Have the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level. Place the monitor directly behind your keyboard.
For bifocal wearers, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches for more comfortable viewing.
Things like an anti-glare screen for your computer can also enhance your comfort level, allowing you to focus on getting your work done.
[Related Read: 14 Must-Have Office Supplies to Grow Your Side Hustle Business]
#3 Pay Attention to Lighting
Good lighting is a key element in creating a comfortable home office environment.
Not only does it contribute to pleasant ambiance, but also to productivity.
Poor lighting has a number of detrimental side effects.
It can reduce your energy, bring down your mood, and cause health-related issues.
Poor lighting leads to eyestrain and headaches–both of which are no fun to experience on a consistent basis.
If you want to be more effective, make lighting a priority.
Having too many lighting options is always better than not enough.
If you don’t have overhead lighting, enhance the area with floor lamps. Find ones that have lampshades, which soften light, instead of an upward-shining design, which bounces light off walls and ceilings.
The goal here is to illuminate the entire space and avoid glare or shadows. White bulbs offer “cool” light, which is said to promote clarity of mind and concentration.
If you’re lucky enough to have natural light, try to position it in front of or next to work surfaces and computer screens.
This will limit glare and maximize your outside views. Solar shades function to reduce heat and modify brightness levels throughout the day.
#4 Optimize for Breaks
Everyone needs a break from time to time.
To increase productivity while working from home, make sure to schedule a few 10-15 minute breaks (plus lunch) to rest your body and mind.
Taking work breaks refreshes us mentally and physically and helps us avoid potential burnout.
There are several ways to integrate breaks into your work routine…
- Move. Move. Move. A world of good happens when you shift energy around in your body. Movement allows for circulation, energy boosting, and mood enhancement, all of which inspire wellness. A quick set of jumping jacks, a 3-minute dance session to your favorite song, or walking your dog can help you shift gears, refocus, and reenergize as needed throughout the day.
- Take eye breaks. This small act makes a big difference. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain. Every 20 minutes, stop looking at your screen and stare at something 20 yards away. Hold that gaze for 20 seconds. If it’s hard to remember to do this regularly, set a timer to help. This simple practice helps avoid digital eye strain.
- Get social. Allow yourself breaks that include social interaction. Like kids at recess, this type of energy release helps increase productivity when you’re back to work. Use breaks as a moment to text your friend back or hop on social media for a bit. Connecting with the world outside of your job acts as a micro vacation and revitalizes work drive.
#5 Declutter Often
Home offices tend to become a place for collecting stuff.
Whether it’s paper piles, coffee cups, or your kid’s stuffed toys, making periodic purges is a good idea.
Your work-from-home mindset depends on it.
Being surrounded by unnecessary things can impair your focus.
A cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind. It challenges organization and hinders productivity as a result.
Plus, using the space where you work as a storage unit or “catch all” area takes away from its intended purpose.
Decluttering is helped by incorporating useful storage options.
A well-designed home office is mindful of the importance of having a clear space.
Even if your work is mostly online, it’s helpful to have a set of drawers, filing cabinet, and desktop tools to keep things organized.
A desk mess can add to stress and interfere with the effectiveness of your work, so be conscious of the clutter and keep it from dominating your office environment.
#6 Limit Distractions
Not every remote worker or side hustler has designated home office space.
Many people are sharing space in new ways with roommates, partners, or parents.
Home is now a school, a gym, and an office.
This poses a challenge when it comes to work disruption.
If possible, confine work to a certain area in the home like the kitchen table. Have a signal in place like a sign on a door or a certain light on to show when it’s time to focus on work.
Communicate ahead of time what warrants an interruption during the workday.
These types of new routines will help increase productivity in the long run.
If noise is unavoidable, experiment with earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to help you get in the right mental zone.
Establishing boundaries between your work and personal life also applies to the devices you use.
Turn off notifications that distract you from work tasks. If needed, lock yourself out of apps for a certain amount of time to limit the temptation of going down a screen time rabbit hole.
#7 Work with Purpose
It’s often helpful to visually see your goals.
Make it a daily practice to list the tasks that need to be completed. This helps you stay organized and track your progress.
Whether you use an app or a white board, having your to-do list in sight makes it less likely to miss anything.
Plus, crossing things off a list is incredibly satisfying, isn’t it? Visual completion only encourages motivation and increases productivity.
#8 Don’t Underestimate the Power of Plants
While aesthetically pleasing, plants make an incredible impact on a home office environment. They oxygenate the air and have a number of other benefits as well.
Introducing a plant into your workspace can lower your blood pressure, lower anxiety levels, and reduce stress.
They also can make you happier.
Well-being is definitively a reason to bring botanicals inside. But, it’s also important to note that plants affect the way you work.
In a 2014 study, researchers found enriching an office with plants could increase productivity by 15%.
With stats like this, it would be a good idea to add a pot or two to your home office design.
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