Workplace Well-Being for One: 5 Tips For a Better Home Office
Home offices: An advantage or a hindrance? For some, working from home sounds like an idyllic situation: No traffic-ridden commute to work and no time wasted shuffling around a busy office. For others, working from home may spark more hesitation: Getting distracted by household chores or the temptation of flipping on the latest episode of a Netflix show that you’ve been watching. The key to transforming your home office into a work sanctuary is in the set up. Studies show that working at home can produce a 13% increase in productivity due to a better utilization of time (1).
Here are 5 simple, yet proven, ways to turn your home office into a more efficient and comfortable work-space:
1. One designated workspace: Though it may be enticing to sit on the couch while you get your work done or move around the house as commotion or clutter demands, it is strongly suggested to have one dedicated work area. That way, even while at home, you can somewhat separate work life from home life. It is best if this area is in a quiet part of your home and even better if it can be cut off from the rest of the house (2).
2. Positive Distractions: Just about everyone has been given the advice to have their workspace be barren of decoration and noise to stay hyper focused. Research suggests this is far from true. Positive distractions, like windows, an aquarium, or art can boost your productivity and satisfaction. Two simple additions for any office are plants or white noise machines. Plants help you stay psychologically engaged and increase creative thinking (4,5).
3. Correct ergonomic setup: To boost productivity and decrease the risk of pesky work related muscular skeletal disorders (MSDs) make sure your office has the proper ergonomic aids. See our other blog here for a full breakdown.
4. Temperature: No more battling your coworkers over the thermostat! You have full control over your environment so make sure you set the temperature for optimal productivity. Studies have shown that the optimal range is from 69.8 to 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit, with peak performance at 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit (3).
5. Remember to take breaks: Taking short breaks every 20-30 minutes is shown to boost productivity. Breaks are important for your physical and mental well-being by allowing you to stretch, regain motivation, and boost creativity. Try making your breaks meaningful by taking a walk around the block or by briefly doing something that you enjoy to do around your home. (6).
In need of a home office upgrade? Contact OMH solutions to for a personalized home work-space ergonomic and environmental assessment.
BY EMMA PARHAM
1. Bloom, N., Liange, J., Roberts, J., & Ying, Z. J. (2015) Does working from home work? Evidence from a Chinese experiment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1(130), 165-218. Doi:10.1093/qje/qju032
2. Alton, L. (2017). 10 essentials for the perfect home office. Forbes. Online. https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2017/04/17/10-essentials-for-the-perfect-home-office/#6a8bdb856845
3. (2010). Too hot! Too cold! Temperature affects productivity. Society For Human Resource Management. Online. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/pages/toohottoocold.aspx
4. Malik, S. (2014). Plants in offices increase happiness and productivity. The Guardian. Online. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/31/plants-offices-workers-productive-minimalist-employees
5. Lichtenfeld, S., Elliot, A.J., Maier, M.A., & Pekrum, R. (2012). Fertile green: Green facilitates creative performance. Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 784-797. Doi: 10.1177/014616721243661
6. Selig, M. (2017). How do work breaks help your brain? 5 surprising answers. Psychology Today. Online. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers