With more and more employees working from home thanks to social distancing guidelines, the way we interact with our colleagues and maintain balance in our daily lives has undoubtedly changed. Over the past few months, millions of people have traded their spare bedroom, kitchen table, or living room couch for an Home Office.
Creating a productive work environment doesn’t have to require time-consuming home upgrades or expensive buildouts. With the right approach, you can find—and set up—a peaceful and productive home office space.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Setting up your home office space around a window can help you boost productivity while working from home. In fact, research has shown that outside views can improve everything from productivity to our sleep-wake cycle to our mental well-being.
Especially when you’re isolated, it’s essential to create the best possible environment for your mental health. If natural light isn’t an option in your home, take steps to limit harsh, overhead lighting by adding lamps to your space.
Add Color to your Space
Adding color can help you fill your office with energy (bold, bright tones) or create a soothing, peaceful environment (light, neutral tones). If you’re not sure where to start, consider how adding artwork and accessories like accent chairs can help you personalize your space.
To optimize your productivity, add a pop of color to your environment with indoor plants. In a recent study, researchers found that enriching a previously empty space with indoor plants helped to increase productivity by 15 percent by creating a more enjoyable and comfortable space for home office work. Additionally, in a literature review, researchers found that indoor plants can also contribute to stress reduction and pain tolerance.
Low-maintenance, easy-to-grow, air-purifying plants like the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are perfect for beginners. If you’re just starting to set up your home office, you can place the ZZ plant almost anywhere with indirect light.
Consider your Work Surface
Although the size of your desk or work surface will often depend on the size of your space and budget, it’s important to consider different desk types. If you’re working with a limited budget, repurposing different furniture pieces—like an old dining room table—can help you add functionality to your space.
When setting up your home office, think about how you prefer to work and the items you’ll want to keep close at hand. To keep your work surface organized, consider investing in desk organizers or installing shelves for things you use less frequently.
Compare Electricity Plans
Depending on the number of adults and children in your home, online learning and telecommuting can take a significant toll on your energy bill. According to data from Austin Energy, Austin, Texas experienced a 12% citywide increase in residential electricity use during the week of March 7 compared with the week before.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can lower your energy bill, and comparing different electricity plans can help you avoid incurring additional expenses when working from home. With the help of electricity compare services like iSelect, homeowners can enter a few details about their household and electricity use to compare energy plans across different providers and filter options based on budget and energy needs. After you compare electricity plans, it’s easy to connect with the provider through iSelect.
Balance your Home and Work Life
When work and home share the same space, it can feel impossible to ‘turn it off’ at the end of your workday. If you can’t find a dedicated room for your office, avoid setting up your home office in your bedroom. Whether you’re living in a one-bedroom apartment or a one-floor home, finding a spot where you can shut the door on work at the end of the day is critical to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Adjusting to remote work can be challenging. Even if you’re not sure when things will return to “normal,“ creating a productive home office environment can help you stay motivated and set yourself up for success.