Working from home is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand. We have an entrepreneurial, do-it-yourself attitude as a country and our work life is no exception.
However, as much as we’d like to imagine that working from home means staying in our dressing downs and sitting on our laptops in bed, this is not a realistic or productive environment at all. Instead, designating a part of the home and turning it into an office between the hours of 9 to 5 is a much better way to compartmentalise your home and work life and get a lot more work done.
On that note, having a home office is a great opportunity to design an excellent work environment that is both comfortable, functional and suits your personal style. In an office building, there is little to no room to customise your work environment, so make the most of being able to DIY the comfort of your own home office.
In this article, we’ll give you a few ideas for how to turn your home office into a productive space you’ll love to work in, and let you know how products such as Solatube can make you much more productive.
Focus on Comfort
In order to be able to work productively, comfort is key. If you’re staring at the items on your desk - such as your laptop, papers or books - for any extended period of time, it can be straining on the rest of your body. This is especially true if you have to sit in an awkward position to see things properly. To solve this, it’s important to have the right levels in place between yourself and your work items.
If you are someone who works at a laptop and types all day, make sure your laptop screen sits at eye level so that you aren’t constantly looking down and straining your neck and back. In this situation, it can make things a lot easier to get a separate keyboard and mouse that you can have on a lower level to your screen, so that you don’t strain your arms either.
If your job requires a lot of drawing or handwriting, you may want to invest in a technical drawing desk. These sit on a diagonal and are excellent as they prevent you from sitting hunched over a horizontal surface and doing extensive damage to your lower back.
Ergonomic furniture is the biggest trend in office stationery right now. The technology behind office chairs has evolved so greatly that chairs often look like a piece of tech themselves.
Ultimately, in order to be most comfortable, you want to invest in a chair that is going to keep you at the right level, in the right position for you to work productively all day long. There are a number of effective ergonomic office chairs available, so shop around and test some out before you buy one so that you can find the chair that works best for you. In general, a chair with a good back rest and adjustable armchairs is ideal.
Zone Out of Life and Into Work
The noises around you when you’re trying to work can be incredibly distracting. In a home office, this can be even more difficult when your family is around or if you live with other people. Even the neighbour’s dog can be the most frustrating sound when you just want to concentrate. Finding a good way to silence your home office can give you the peace and serenity you need to focus on getting the day’s job done.
One way you can zone into work is by installing some soundproof panels (if your wall space allows for it). For a quick fix, you can get noise-cancelling headphones – just make sure the music you play through them isn’t more distracting.
Wake Up to the Right Lighting
A well-lit office is imperative to productivity. Natural light gives us the melatonin we need to stay awake during the day and keep our brains focused. If your home office relies on natural light from nearby windows, dealing with the glare on your screen or the additional heat can become frustrating.
An easier solution for natural light is to install some skylights above your office space. Solatube skylights are an excellent option as they let in maximum light without causing the space to be glary. The technology in Solatube skylights allows them to only accept the right kind of sunlight, meaning they reject harsh midday sun that could make you overheat - they are also the best source of natural 'working' light in the world.
Our last tip towards making your home office a healthy, productive environment is to make sure your space is properly ventilated. You may not notice, but a badly ventilated office can affect your productivity. Stale air can make the room heat up and feel humid, making it much harder to focus.
There are many great ways to make sure you are breathing healthy air. Simply opening up all the doors and windows in your house to let in fresh air from outdoors for a few hours a day can make a significant difference. However, this can cause all types of weather to come streaming inside, so it’s not always the best solution.
A collection of plants is also great for a home office, as they are natural air purifiers that absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. They’re also very easy on the eyes and are proven to have a calming effect.
For constant clean air circulating your whole space, you can also consider installing a home ventilation system such as the energy recovery system by Hometech for efficient ventilation 24/7. This system removes excess moisture and prevents air from becoming stale or too hot, helping you breathe in fresh, healthy air all day long.
We hope these tips have inspired you to create a much more productive space for your home office. If you need any more information on how Solatube systems or home ventilation can better your home, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation and quote.