4 Tips to Improve Your Home Office and Work Smarter from Home

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The COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down conventional workplaces as we knew them, forcing thousands of companies to shutter their physical spaces in exchange for virtual collaboration. While most company offices are tailored for efficiency, the same couldn’t be said for most employees’ home offices — especially considering how fast the switch occurred. Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to make yours just as effective.

Whether you’re planning to maintain work-from-home status even after the pandemic is over or simply want to make your temporary home office the best it can be, here are some tips to ensure the space you work in supplements productivity.

1.     Location, location, location

While your home or apartment may not offer the same amount of free space as an office building, there are some tricks you can utilise to capture the same open-air feeling.

Natural light is one of the most critical aspects of this step for a variety of reasons. It has long been understood that having natural light pouring into an office space encourages worker wellbeing, making it a must-have for your home office. Try moving your desk and chairs closer to a window to take full advantage of the sun’s natural benefits.

Furthermore, avoid placing your setup in an area that is too small. Common psychology tells us that cramped spaces negatively affect our concentration and creativity, leading to feelings of depression. Instead, try working in the most open areas of your home to encourage productivity.

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2.     Invest in your health

Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day is a fact of life for many, but it doesn’t mean your health has to suffer because of your career.

Now that more employees than ever recognise how important computer posture is, there are a wide variety of ergonomic desks, chairs, keyboards and more to ensure your home office works in your body’s favour.

An ergonomic setup should allow your feet to rest flat on the floor, support your back with a comfortable chair and maintain a ninety-degree elbow angle as you type on your keyboard. Standing desks are also a popular investment for employees who wish to support healthy spine posture when working.

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3.     Keep it clean

Cleanliness isn’t just important when it comes to impressing guests — it can be a determining factor in how efficient your home office is during work hours. Not only is a messy area unappealing, but it can also hamper how much you get done during the day; in fact, research has proven it can reduce productivity by 40%.

You’ll likely have a few cables lying about your desk, but these shouldn’t be left to devour your surface space. Velcro wraps can keep them out of sight and out of mind, allowing you to focus on the tasks at hand. Small baskets, shelf organisers and more can also be utilised to minimise clutter and maintain organisation. 

Unless you’re one of the rare few who thrive off of chaotic environments, it’s a good idea to ensure you clean up before and after every work session.  

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4.     Make it yours

Working from a home office isn’t for everyone, but there remains one factor that anyone can enjoy: personalisation.

While some office buildings may force employees to keep desk customisation to a minimum, a work-from-home setup allows you to take things into your own hands. From choosing your own chairs to picking out a new desk plant, there is no limit to the number of ways you can personalise a home office.

There’s a science to back this up as well, as research suggests office personalisation improves employee satisfaction and encourages a sense of control.

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With these tips in mind, you can transform your home office into a space that doesn’t just help you get the job done, but also makes you look forward to doing so. 

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