Thanks to a certain memorable worldwide situation in 2020, the home office has become an integral part of our lives. Whether you’re a freelancer, remote worker, or simply need a quiet space to focus, your home office should be a sanctuary of productivity and comfort. However, there are certain choices you might make when setting up your home office that you’ll later regret. Check out these six things you should avoid adding to your home office for a pleasant and productive work environment.
1. Uncomfortable Furniture
Your chair and desk are the foundation of your workspace, and they play a major role in your overall comfort and productivity.
Investing in an ergonomic chair with proper lumbar support is key. When you spend long hours at your desk, an uncomfortable chair can lead to back pain, poor posture, and decreased concentration.
Similarly, your desk should be at the right height to prevent strain on your wrists and arms. A desk that’s too high or too low can lead to discomfort and potential health issues. Adjustable desks are a great option if you have the flexibility to invest in one. Ultimately, your home office should be a place where you can work efficiently without the distraction of physical discomfort. Don’t underestimate the importance of ergonomics when setting up your workspace.
2. Poor Lighting Choices
Bad or harsh lighting can cause eye strain, headaches, and reduced productivity, plain and simple. Whenever you can, position your desk near a window to allow natural light to flood your workspace. Natural light not only reduces the need for artificial lighting but also has a positive effect on mood and energy levels.
In addition to natural light, adjustable task lighting won’t hurt either. This lets you control the brightness and direction of the light so that your workspace is well-lit without causing glare on your computer screen or creating harsh shadows.
3. Clutter and Disorganization
A cluttered and disorganized workspace can be a breeding ground for distractions and stress. It’s easy to accumulate piles of papers, office supplies, and miscellaneous items on your desk and around your home office. Start by decluttering regularly. Keep only the items you use frequently within arm’s reach, and find appropriate storage solutions for the rest. Invest in filing cabinets, shelves, and organizers to keep everything in its place.
Additionally, it would help to develop a system for managing your tasks and documents. Digital tools like task management apps and cloud storage can help you stay organized and reduce physical clutter.
4. Noisy Surroundings
Working in a noisy environment can be incredibly frustrating and counterproductive. It’s challenging to concentrate when you’re constantly interrupted by loud conversations, traffic noise, or other disturbances. To address noise issues, consider noise-canceling headphones as your best friend. These can effectively block out external sounds, allowing you to work in peace. Additionally, you can use soothing background music or white noise to create a more serene atmosphere.
If you want to go extreme, you could go as far as soundproofing your home office. This may involve adding weatherstripping to doors and windows, using acoustic panels, or placing rugs on hard floors to reduce sound reflection.
5. Neglecting Personalization
Your home office should be a space that reflects your personality and inspires creativity. Neglecting to personalize your workspace can make it feel dull—plus, it’s always fun to have a conversation-starting background for all those Zoom meetings. One way to add a personal touch is through artwork. Hang up paintings, photographs, or posters that resonate with you. Choose pieces that inspire and motivate you to do your best work.
Plants can also breathe life into your home office. They add a sentiment of nature to your workspace, and improve air quality and create a more pleasant atmosphere. Consider displaying personal items that bring you joy, such as family photos or mementos from your travels. These little touches can make your home office feel warm and inviting.
6. Less-Than-Stellar Technology
In the digital age, technology is at the heart of every home office. To get the job done well, get high-quality equipment where you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, but for example, your computer should have plenty of RAM, fast speeds and reliability.
A stable internet connection is equally important. Consider other tech tools that can streamline your work, such as a comfortable keyboard and mouse and a second monitor for increased screen real estate.
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