How to Create a Healthy and Productive Work-From-Home Environment | The COVID-19 global pandemic made people realize the value of the Internet and technology. Physical distancing and quarantine rules prompted companies to implement a work-from-home setup to continue daily operations without risking their employees’ health.
Based on a recent survey, eight out of ten people would continue having this kind of setup long after the health crisis died down. Of course, this is not entirely a new thing, as many businesses have already started to implement this type of work setup even before COVID. Thus, the demand for more flexible work arrangements continues to increase.
As the health crisis makes working from home the “new normal” for business operations, viable home workspaces have also become a necessity for people looking to buy a real estate property.
This article will show you how to create a healthy work-from-home environment, from the interior fit-out to the equipment and devices you’ll need.
Pick out a comfortable space.
While having an entire room designated as your home office is ideal, it may not always be possible for most people given the variety of home arrangements.
If this is the case for you, you can try the second-best option. Pick out a comfortable nook, corner, or area in between rooms where you can spend an average of eight hours of productive work in a day with fewer distractions. Make sure you design it to have minimal impact on your well-being (e.g., eye strain because of low light environments or posture issues from non-ergonomic seating).
A traditional chair and desk setup is a safe choice. However, studies reveal several other preferable arrangements that allow remote workers to concentrate on their tasks without feeling burnt-out, such as couches, sofas, bean bag chairs, and even standing desks.
Choose productivity-boosting scenery.
Besides the ideal seating arrangement, you also need to have scenery in your home office to boost productivity and ensure optimal workflow. Just remember that varying tasks require different views.
For example, brainstorming and other activities that require creativity are best done somewhere with an outdoor view. The comforting scenery can help ease the mind and foster the smooth flow of your creative juices.
On the other hand, mundane or high-pressure activities that require little to no distraction are best done in wall-facing desks. The view (or a lack thereof) will help you focus on the task at hand with a clear and level head.
Remember that there’s no universal formula that applies to everyone in this aspect. The key is to look for a spot that works best for you.
Optimise the sound environment for specific tasks
It doesn’t matter if you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a penthouse suite. When working from home, you must make sure that your workspace has a sound environment optimised for the tasks you’ll be doing.
For most home-based jobs, you must take into account two things: calls and creativity.
Virtual meetings and voice calls should be done somewhere very quiet to avoid misunderstandings and distractions. If you’re doing a lot of talking in your line of work, ensure that your home workspace is located away from a laundry machine, vacuum, or television.
Besides an outdoor view, people who perform tasks that require creativity may work best somewhere with ambient noise. A study reveals that remote workers perform better in creative assignments while hearing background noise of around 70 decibels, like a coffee shop co-working space.
Buy good headphones
Whether you’re always on a call with clients, managers, and co-workers, having a good pair of headphones will also help complement your ideal home workspace. This is particularly useful if you share your home office with other people.
If you can, invest in a noise-cancelling headset to deal with ambient sounds when you’re doing a lot of calls. If you need help focussing on a gruelling task, you can also use a pair of large over-ear headphones that create a sense of privacy. Don’t forget to look for ones with built-in microphones for better quality calls.
Invest in a comfortable chair.
You can’t pick just any chair for your home office. For your own sake, choose a comfortable one that you can happily sit on for several hours a day.
Believe it or not, choosing a comfortable chair can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re not looking to spend a fortune on it.
To make sure it’s the right one regardless of the price, pay attention to how well it can support your back, arms, and thighs. Also, look at the choices of material available and warranties, if any.
Consider the lighting.
When doing video calls in your home office, you’ll want to think about the lighting a bit more.
If you’re working during the day, make sure that your back isn’t positioned toward a window as the daylight behind you can cause your face to look a bit too dark in the video call. If you can’t adjust your desk, consider pivoting your position by about 90 degrees or close the blinds altogether.
If your workspace is a bit dark, switch on a table lamp with a shade to brighten it up.
Boost productivity with a second monitor.
Suppose your job revolves around data analysis, coding, design, writing, and other tasks that require opening several web pages or using different software simultaneously. In that case, you’ll benefit from having a second monitor.
The extra screen will allow you to do multiple tasks simultaneously. It is also ideal for remote workers who juggle several windows at once.
When picking out a second monitor, stick to the same model as the one you already have in your home office setup to ensure similar screen fidelity and experience.
Make sure you can stay connected.
Work-from-home setups rely heavily on the Internet, so you’ll have to make sure you have a reliable connection and backup power sources to stay connected.
Equip your home workspace with items like UPS networks, back-up Internet connection, and the like. These are vital contingencies in case of a power or Internet outage.
Work productively from home stress-free
With work-from-home arrangements as part of the new normal, it pays to know how to create a viable workspace in your house, villa, or apartment. Consider these tips to keep yourself healthy and productive whilst working remotely.