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6 Strategies For Improving Your Home Office

More and more employees are working from home. As factors combine to shift work from the corporate office to the home office, workers search for new ways to morph personal space into a workspace. Doing so might be easier than you think! Here are six simple strategies for improving your home office.

1. Automate for Efficiency

The most challenging part of having a home office can be keeping production levels high. Without a lot of resources and capital, remote workers can have difficulty meeting the goals they set. Digital automation offers some excellent solutions. Project management tools enable file-sharing and group coordination. Voice over Internet Protocol systems like Skype can help replace physical meetings. Customer relationship management systems are proving invaluable to marketers. Even logistical tools like a shipping API can help streamline e-commerce. Shop around for solutions that suit your needs.

2. Prioritize Organization

Another big challenge in working from home is keeping everything organized. It pays to take a minimalist approach to office decor. Limiting distractions is goal number one. Place everything but the desktop essentials in boxes and stow them somewhere unobtrusive. Bring in extra shelving, especially orderly cubbies. Label everything so that you don’t have to search for documents. Wall calendars with stickers and markers are excellent additions. Keeping your space clean keeps your mind clear.

3. Invest in Ergonomic Equipment

While rearranging your infrastructure, consider adding ergonomic furniture and desks to your repertoire. Ergonomics is the science of how humans interface with their work environment. Exposure to risk factors like repeated lifting, bending, and poorly-designed seating can increase your chances of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Chairs and desks designed with ergonomics in mind support good health by minimizing the impact of stress on the mind and body. Staying healthy at work should be priority one.

4. Upgrade Speakers and Lighting

Additional upgrades should focus on appliances and devices that aid your daily routine. Since you’re probably working from a computer, upgrading your speakers and microphone is a timely idea. Doing so will help you be understood better during conference calls and is a prerequisite for many customer service positions. Purchasing professional lighting, such as ring lights, will also be a boon during remote meetings. One caveat: Avoid staring at devices that produce blue light (like computer screens) before going to bed. Multiple studies link that frequency to insomnia and other detrimental effects. Remember that a polished presentation will keep you looking and feeling professional.

5. Choose the Right Color Scheme

The optimal color scheme in your office can make a surprising difference when considering productivity and comfort. Like ergonomics, color psychology is another science that remote workers should think about. Studies have shown remarkable effects, such as blue rooms making people calmer and red increasing reaction speed. Consider adding these colors or the trendy green to a classic neutral color scheme. Color perception may be largely subjective, but because human brains have commonalities, some effects are more universal. Choose your color palette to engender peace and productivity.

6. Incorporate Nature

One new idea that’s gaining traction in management circles is an idea called “biophilia.” The basic principle of biophilic design is incorporating nature into artificial spaces like homes and offices. Research shows a sizable payoff in health and productivity. An example of this is daylighting. Daylighting means letting natural daylight into your workspace. Research shows that exposure to natural light promotes a healthy circadian rhythm and boosts productivity.

Adding plant life to your office is also beneficial. NASA research discovered years ago that certain plants purify the air, removing toxic chemicals. English ivy and the common spider plant are two examples. We’re all a part of the natural world, so keeping your office green can help make you a healthier and better worker.

Developing your home office creates the perfect opportunity to become a happier and more efficient worker. Use these tips to optimize your space and make your office a (very productive) haven.

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