The year 2020 will be recorded in history for several reasons, one of which is the sudden work-from-home strategy that several companies had to embrace due to the pandemic. Prior to now, most people were never accustomed to this way of life, so it must have been pretty challenging to make that quick switch.
While several studies in the last decade must have praised working from home and how it helps improve productivity, it is a tad different in this case. This is considering the many factors in place, such as children, space, privacy, and choice. No one had the chance to choose whether or not they wanted to work from home and we never got heads up, so there was no preparation whatsoever to make this happen. It just happened and here we are.
However, regardless of how sudden it was, a lot of people have tried to get a hang of it and thrive regardless. Nicholas Bloom is widely known for his research highlighting the benefits of working from home but in an interview with Stanford News earlier this year, he was worried that the new system of working from home might hinder productivity.
Research conducted by Emerald Publishing showed how working from home differs in statistics in different countries on a normal day. It is most common in countries such as Denmark (37%) and the Netherlands (33%) but used more rarely in Greece (9%) and Italy (7%). These numbers were before the pandemic and the switch would clearly have been difficult for most workers.
There are many factors to consider if we want the work-from-home to be as effective as possible. For example, your home office computer desk setup has to be in place, which many people never had before the pandemic hit. For most people, it meant building an office desk setup at home from scratch.
If you need the best home desk setup ideas, we have highlighted some in this article.
Investing in a good chair is one of the best decisions to make in home office setups and there are several reasons why. You spend more time sitting while you work, so it only makes sense that you pay attention to it. One of the major complaints from the average worker today is a lower back pain that is undeniably gotten from constantly sitting in a slouched position all day long. No thanks to using an unsupportive chair that doesn’t encourage sitting upright.
A study conducted by BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders shows the effectiveness of a chair intervention in the workplace in reducing musculoskeletal symptoms. There are several other studies that point to that, which further reinforces the need to go for a good comfortable chair.
When choosing a chair, always consider getting an ergonomic chair to improve your efficiency at your workplace. This chair provides benefits to your muscles, as it helps align your posture correctly, and also makes you sit comfortably all day long due to how it is designed. It has impressive lumbar support that aligns with your spine and prevents lower back pain.
The ability to adjust the height, lumbar support, headrests, and armrests should be highly considered when choosing. This is to ensure you are getting a chair that fits your height and body size and that you’re also able to fit into your level of comfort per time.
When you are seated comfortably for the most part of your workday, there are only a few things left that should hinder your productivity. You will also experience lower musculoskeletal pain, including the lower back, neck, and arms, which are usually the most strained work areas.
Every comfortable chair should be paired with a great desk to give the best experience. This is your primary work area and you want to make sure it is worth it. Start by getting a desk large enough to accommodate all your essentials; for example, if you have two monitors, you might need a larger desk compared to someone with just their laptop.
The best home office desk setup should have a height that pairs comfortably with your chair. You can also get an adjustable desk that can help you switch easily between a sitting and a standing position as you work. There is an increasing rate of sedentary lifestyles in the world today and according to the World Health Organization, this poses risks to other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.
With an adjustable sit-stand desk, you can easily stretch your muscles at intervals or walk around a bit while still getting the work done.
The positioning of your screen also has an impact on your posture, as you are more likely to slouch if the screen is too low. It is advised to position your screen such that your eyes align with the top of the screen and it is about 20 to 40 inches away from you.
If you are using a monitor, adjust it until it is at the proper height and if it is a laptop, you will need a laptop stand. If you use a laptop stand, you may want to get an external keyboard and mouse to make working with your laptop easier than ever. This also helps you rest your arms properly and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal pain around the neck, arms, and lower back. You will also be saving yourself constant future visits to the physiotherapist while maintaining a young and vibrant look with the correct posture.
A Minimalist Desk Setup is often suggested to help keep a workplace as organized as possible. A cluttered space has a way of impairing your cognitive function, which could eventually affect how you work. However, with a minimalist setup, it is easier to clear clutters, as you will naturally try not to gather too many unnecessary items in the first place.
Try as much as you can to stay organized. Keep documents in shelves, documents, and folders. Use pen holders and other forms of desk organizers to put your essential items in place. Use labels, so you will know where and what everything is. This will help you stay organized and reduce how much distraction you get from always trying to look for a misplaced item. It also helps ensure you don’t have things lying aimlessly around, which could affect how you think and work.
A cluttered workspace can make you feel overwhelmed and also cause undue stress. You can take control of this by putting things in order. Clean your office regularly and make use of to-do lists to put your thoughts together and think clearly.
Let your desk setup be filled with as much natural light as possible, as it helps improve the mood and makes you work efficiently. Position your desk close to the window or any source of natural light to get some of the natural benefits such as vitamin D.
Having adequate lighting is important for any desk setup, as it not only helps reduce eye-strain but can also help set the mood and atmosphere for your workspace.
Artificial lighting is also helpful, especially if you don’t have enough natural lights. You can opt for floor lamps and desk lamps to help brighten up your space while also maintaining the aesthetics and the mood of the office.
There are only a few things more frustrating than a poor internet connection while working. In a recent poll from Australia, it was found that the primary cause of employee frustration is the slow Internet. Apart from how frustrating this is, it also hinders your productivity. While waiting for your internet connection to pick up, you tend to lose your zeal and get distracted too often. With constant distraction comes tardiness with your work, which would affect your general workflow.
The best way to tackle this challenge is to invest in high-speed internet to ensure that nothing interrupts your workflow. Look at your options and choose one that would work perfectly for you in your location.
Colors have a psychological effect on the mood of the workspace and you can maximize this to work effectively for you and your productivity at work. This can be as simple as possible or you could get more creative and throw in a splash of colors.
These colors can reflect in the wall paintings, furniture, lights, wall arts, and other random items, as you wish. Go for colors that give off the kind of vibe you want, especially if it matches your style and personality. Most importantly, remember to make it fit into the aesthetics of your workspace, as that could also help improve your creative thinking process to help you get the work done.
There are more environmentally conscious people now than ever, as we constantly educate ourselves on how some of the most basic things could affect our environment. While you make decisions on how to create the ideal work from home set-up, you should also remember to think about the environment.
One of the ways to go about this is to reduce how much paper you use and this can be done by using more digital tools. You could also get a whiteboard to record important and instant information, rather than using and ditching papers all the time.
You can create a friendly workspace that consumes less energy. Install LED power-saving lights for your artificial lights but if you have access to enough natural lights, you may hardly ever use these LED lights. Most importantly, make it a habit to turn off the lights and other electrical appliances as you leave the room.
Buy an eco-friendly bottle for your water to reduce the use of plastics and have a recycling bin in place. If you can play your part in being environmentally conscious and everyone else does the same, we will be playing our part in saving the planet.
As much as plants in your workspace are great for aesthetics, there is more to them. There are numerous scientific studies to back the claim that plants aid productivity at work. In a study by Public Health Reports on the effects of nature contact at work on employee stress and health, it was found that adding some greenery in the form of indoor plants can have major positive benefits for employees and their organizations and also home workers. The study also found that as workday nature contact increased, perceived stress and generalized health complaints decreased.
Indoor plants are also known to help reduce stress, as seen in this study that found significant reductions in stress among workers due to the introduction of plants to their workspace. The reports included a 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in depression or dejection; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility; and a 38% reduction in fatigue.
It is more than just a trend or for aesthetics purposes. Other benefits it has been proven to have included improved attention capacity, reduced sickness and absence rates, help you find inspiration, purify the air, and boost creativity, among others.
Get as many indoor plants as you can both for the aesthetics and also for the other benefits it offers.
Although the world’s approach to the work-from-home system this year might not have produced better results, most employees and organizations seem to be gradually making the most of it. Interestingly, this system might be in place for a much longer time, especially considering top companies like Twitter and Square deciding to allow their employees to fully work from home.
A lot more companies might eventually embrace this but most importantly, ensure you are making the most of it and staying productive. There are several work-from-home setups shared across social platforms that can help inspire your creativity as you work on yours.
With the tips shared here, you can create the ideal workspace that will help improve your productivity in the long run.