Not everyone has the luxury of having a built-in home office with all the necessities for a successful and productive work-from-home day. Many people are finding themselves hunched over their laptops while sitting on their sofas, beds or even in their kitchens, struggling to tune out the distractions of family life. If this sounds familiar, here are a few ideas for transforming your home into a supportive work environment.
Ergo what…? Ergonomic factors
Ergonomic factors often go unnoticed throughout a busy work day, but they are crucial in creating a working environment that connects the comfort of home and the efficiency of the office.
Start with the basics; this means ditching the uncomfortable kitchen stool you’ve been hunched over and picking out the right furniture for your work space. Make sure you have a desk or table with a chair that you are comfortable sitting in for an entire work day.
When setting up your desktop or laptop workspace, key ergonomic factors include adjusting your monitor to eye level with a slight tilt and positioning yourself an arm’s length away. When it comes to finding a chair to work in, make sure it has a back rest as well as armrests.
To make the most of your home office space, choosing the right surface for your desk, bookshelves and other furnishings is essential. Surfaces can be more than just a place to house your work materials. For example, ignite creative thought by choosing a surface that doubles as a white board or chalkboard. Take notes, sketch out ideas or create drawings; the possibilities are endless.
Since you’re spending more time working from home, you want to ensure that the surfaces you select are durable and resilient so they can withstand everyday wear and tear. An extra key component to look out for is surfaces that are easy to sanitize or even anti-microbial to minimize risks to your health.
To create a cohesive look throughout the home, consider choosing a surface that matches other components in your home such as kitchen cabinetry or closet shelves. This can make your transition from work spaces to living spaces more fluid.
Letting the light in
Getting the perfect amount of natural light in your home office space doesn’t have to be difficult.
Nobody wants to work under harsh artificial light, so when choosing your work space, look for an area that has ample natural light.
One of the most striking factors that influences employees in the work space is the color temperature of the light source to which we are exposed. High color temperature lighting has the appearance of a blue-white color and is usually emitted by natural daylight. This type of light, also known as cold light, is typically used in brainstorming rooms due to its ability to reduce fatigue.
Natural light also promotes productivity and alertness. You will do your best work and be more efficient with natural light coming into your workspace.
Dialing down distractions
To minimize distractions that may occur outside the home, it’s important to invest in windows that block out sound without blocking out the view. The right windows are perfectly crafted to optimize daylight while keeping the inside environment comfortable.
Home offices can be full of distractions. While some have the luxury of working from home in a quiet suburban neighborhood, others could be working from home in their studio apartment in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a large city. Whatever the environment, windows designed for sound abatement can offer a solution to even the noisiest distractions.
Carefully crafted windows can block up to 45 decibels of outside sound. This means a busy street, which is usually around 80 decibels, can be reduced to emulate a quiet office space which is usually around 45 decibels.
The temperature of the environment can create distractions if it's causing discomfort. Investing in windows with compression-seal will ensure that your focus is on your work and not the chilly draft in your home.
As we adapt to our ever-changing world, our home space needs to adapt with us to accommodate our work needs. Transforming your home space into your workspace doesn’t need to be difficult.
Starting with the basics, you can create a work environment that encourages high levels of productivity without high levels of modification to your home. By taking the time to invest in your workspace at home, you’re not only investing in your career, but also in your personal well-being.
By Diana Maher, REHAU Communications