A Productive Home Office Setup Checklist (Including PDF Download)
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When working from home you are surrounded by a lot of potential distractions. Creating the right environment to work from can make all the difference to how your day unfolds.
Using these tips can make your work from home office setup not only look aesthetically pleasing but also allow you to achieve more in less time.
1. Location Matters
People spend 47% of their time awake being distracted. Taking steps to reduce the number of potential distractions impacting your home office all starts with being aware of your surroundings.
Aim to set up your workspace in a quiet area of your home, one where you are less likely to encounter a high footfall or negatively impact upon how others use living spaces.
2. Seek Out Natural Light
Seek to set-up your work zone to maximise exposure to natural light. The presence of light decreases melatonin production and signals to our bodies that it is time to wake up. Exposure is strongly connected with our ability to concentrate and maintain focus.
Alternatively, mimic changing light levels throughout the day by using an application on your computer such as f.lux. f.lux alters the temperature of light emitted by your screen to match the room you are in. This helps reduce eye strain during night-time working, which in turn helps you get a better night’s sleep.
3. Test Your Wi-Fi Connection
Before beginning to move furniture and position your office desk, check that you have adequate Wi-Fi strength to fulfil your role. Having your connection drop out mid-way through a conference call or right before an important email is due to be sent off is a sure-fire way to disrupt your focus.
You can check where in your house you have the strongest connection easily by searching for ‘Wi-Fi speed test’ on Google.
Be mindful that your internet speed will be influenced by how far removed you are from your router and how many other devices are connected to the network.
For the best connection possible keep your router away from devices that are known to cause interference (TVs and monitors, halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches) or that work through wireless signals (baby monitors, cordless phones).
4. Use Vertical Space
Make optimal use of space by stacking drawers beneath your desk or shelves above it to create storage.
Like your electronic files, storing books, hard copies of documents and stationery in a manner that is organised cuts wasted time and improves productivity.
Incorporating a noticeboard or whiteboard onto one of your office walls is also extremely useful to brain dump ideas or offload distracting thoughts that might otherwise cause a loss of focus.
5. Invite Nature Indoors
In one study, working elements of biophilic into your office design, such as desktop plants, resulted in a 15% increase in productivity scores across a period of 3 months.
Adopting a houseplant is an easy win for work from homers as regardless of your level of gardening expertise there is a plant species perfect for you and the conditions in your office.
6. Ergonomics Matter
Paying attention to ergonomics when it comes to your home office setup can not only ensure your comfort but also drastically increase your productivity.
An ergonomically sound chair for example helps in promoting the flow of blood and oxygen in our body, thereby improving cognitive abilities.
7. Declutter and Keep Tidy
To aid in maintaining focus, try minimising the number of items on your desktop that might otherwise impede your ‘creative’ space.
Cables and wires have a habit of becoming a nuisance if left unmanaged. Try to line them against nearby walls or attach them to the underside of your desk to prevent them from becoming an obstacle to your work.
Zip ties or bread clips can be a simple option to bundle cables that run the same route together and prevent them from tangling with one another.