The rise of remote work is one of the biggest shifts in corporate culture to happen in recent years. From the all-remote workplace to giving employees one day a month or week to work from a home office, there are a lot of potential upsides for both employers and employees. But as anyone who’s ever worked from home can tell you, it comes with its fair share of challenges.
Managers constantly worry about productivity from remote workers, while employees themselves can often feel distracted or under-productive when they work from home. As it turns out, working from home some or all of the time actually leads to higher employee productivity. Employees are more engaged in the work. They’re also far less likely to call in sick and more willing to put in longer hours because there’s no commute time. However, it can still be easy to get distracted when working from home with no one looking over your shoulder.
Start by setting boundaries for yourself and with friends and family. This is an important way to keep yourself productive when you work from home. When you first start working from home, your partner, family, or friends might just assume that this is time you’re at home and available. You’ll get requests to throw in a load of laundry, go grocery shopping, or even to socialize. Treat this time like you’re at the office. Don’t agree to do anything you wouldn’t do if you were at the office and communicate this clearly to your partner. Setting “office hours” will also help you turn off for the day totally guilt-free.
Keep to a Professional Design
A professional home office that’s away from anyone else who might be home, whether it’s your partner, the kids, or a roommate, will also put you in a more productive mindset. Not only do you need these physical boundaries, you also want a home office that’s conducive to productivity.
When you’re redesigning your home office, start with what your body is telling you. Do you find that your back, neck, or shoulders hurt after an 8-hour stretch at your own desk? Look into new office chairs that will support your back and shoulders. Musculoskeletal disorders are a common cause of lost work hours among telecommuters. Your office chair should be completely adjustable to fit your desk, your body, and the placement of your computer.
A desk with a flexible height is another indispensable piece of office furniture for your home office. You might also wat to explore desks that can alternate between typical desks and a standing desk.
Ambiance is Important
Your next stepshould be to look at lighting. Natural lighting is an important mood-booster and studies have shown that it can improve workplace performance and sleep. When you spend long hours staring at a computer screen, reducing glare will also reduce strain on your eyes. Position your desk and computer in such a way that any windows in the room are on the side. You can also position your desk lamp to point at paperwork, not your computer.
A home office and quality office furniture keep you on-task and focused on your job. You shouldn’t be suffering through back, neck, or wrist pain, or eye strain. Adjustable office chairs and computer desks are must-have pieces in your remote work office.