Even before the pandemic, a growing number of businesses allowed their staff to work from home. Then,as everyone knows, the pandemic accelerated that trend. What started as a necessary response to a novel problem may develop into the oft-cited “new normal” as employees become increasingly comfortable with the prospect of at-home work. Company owners like the arrangement as well –it saves them money on real estate and supplies, and can even boost productivity.
There’s only one catch: you need the right at-home setup if you’re going to keep your sanity. That’s where designing a dedicated home office comes in handy. Creating an ideal space for work takes some time and effort, but the results are worth it. With a few necessary items and a little renovation, you can craft a comfortable, agreeable office to help you do your best work.
Let There Be Light
Let’s start with the renovations: namely, window installation. Natural light is a critical component of good mental health. The vitamin D it facilitates can help improve your mood, sharpen your focus and regulate your sleep schedule. It’s imperative that your at-home office be well supplied with natural light. For many, that may mean adding new windows.
Luckily, window installation has benefits beyond providing natural light during work hours. A quality-crafted window will add value and beauty to your home and also improve your home’s overall efficiency (if replacing an older window). It’s the best first step you can take in enhancing your work-from-home setup.
Anything your body regularly touches throughout the day – your chair, keyboard, desk and even the floor – should be ergonomic. Working in a sedentary environment has the potential to wreak havoc on your spine, so it’s important to make your environment more ergonomic wherever possible.
Invest in a good ergonomic chair, ergonomic keyboard, standing desk and/or anti-fatigue standing mat. Altogether, these items won’t cost you nearly as much as regular trips to the chiropractor, so they are worth it!
Employ a Few Noise Reduction Techniques
If you share a home with young kids, chances are you’ve had more than a few meetings interrupted by shouting, crying or blaring Paw Patrol videos. Even if you don’t have young kids around, you may still experience interruptions – a neighbor lawnmowing, a spouse blending a smoothie or Amazon delivery people continually ringing your doorbell.
As a basic noise reduction measure, populate your office with plush materials that absorb sound, like rugs, fabric wall hangings and even curtains. If you are replacing your windows, choose triple-glazed windows, which reduce sound transmissions. Finally, if you’re still experiencing too much noise, consider lining your walls with soundproofing foam or acoustic tiling; it’s relatively inexpensive and always effective. As a last resort, you may have to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones!
You’ll notice that the tips above concern the senses: sight, touch and hearing, to be specific. That’s because your senses significantly impact your mood and overall wellbeing. With plenty of natural light, ergonomic office equipment and noise-reducing features, you can relax and focus on work.