Due to the Corona Pandemic, people are now more interested in home office set up than ever. Google Trend analysis shows that google search for ‘Home Office’ has increased by 37% during the pandemic. But many people are facing decreased productivity in their home office. Productivity is crucial for everyone.
So, if you are working from home and want to know about how to make your home office more productive, here are 23 non-obvious tips to make your home office more productive:
1. Get a Good and Comfortable Ergonomic Chair:
When it comes to home office furniture, an office chair is the most important one for sure as you are going to spend a lot of time sitting at your home office chair working. I think a good office chair makes a lot of difference when it comes to increasing your productivity at work.
People who have desk jobs spend, on average, 40 hours per week on their chair. So getting a good office chair will help you in not just increasing productivity but also in many other ways. If you are sitting for long hours at your desk, you might experience back pain and other physical issues over time.
I have been through back pain in the past. This really hampers productivity to a great extent. If you can not sit comfortably, then working for long hours can be like nightmares.
So, I would suggest you get a good and comfortable Ergonomic office chair to be more comfortable while you are sitting and boost your productivity.
If you are looking for the Best Ergonomic chairs, check out our article here.
2. Make sure Your Workspace gets Enough Sunlight:
According to a recent study done by a professor of Cornell University named Alan Hedge, an optimal amount of natural daylight in the office can reduce eye strain and bad headaches in workers by 84%. The same thing applies to your home office.
Try to get a place that gets the optimal amount of daylight. This will make you more productive during the day. Most of us have to look at a screen for long hours these days. Study shows an average American will spend 34 hours looking at the screen in his/her entire lifetime. This is a serious problem for which people develop headaches and eye strains more often. This hampers our productivity.
So if you can make sure that your home office room has windows that allow natural light to enter. If your workspace at home is getting an optimal natural light level, this will definitely help you a lot.
3. Get a Large & widescreen Monitor:
According to HP, A widescreen monitor can maximize your productivity. If you require to use your PC or laptop for your work at your home office, getting a larger widescreen monitor will definitely increase the productivity of your work. Let me explain how.
A laptop screen is smaller, and most of the laptop monitors are not of high resolution. Looking at smaller things like text for long hours can be tiring for your eyes. If you get a monitor that is wider and larger. Not only will you see things more extensive, but also the screen will fit multiple tabs. This makes multitasking really easy.
Besides, suppose you are a designer or content creator. In that case, you should try using multiple monitors to boost your productivity at your home office. I would also suggest you avoid monitors that are of low resolution. A low res. monitor puts more strain on your eyes and this hampers productivity to a great extent. So, in terms of resolution the higher, the better.
1080p monitors are mainstream these days. Anything below that is absolutely not recommended. If you want better productivity, you should get at least a 2k monitor. The wider screen ones are generally more preferable for people who do creative works.
4. Make Sure The Desk is wide Enough:
You should get a computer desk for your home office that is wide enough to hold everything you need to keep at your desk. I would suggest you get a desk as wide as your room supports. If your home office is in a small space, try to get a table with shelves.
Most of the people set up their home office in a small space. This does not allow them to have a wider desk. So, a desk with multiple shelves can be really helpful to use vertical space more efficiently. This will also allow you to keep more things on your desk or give you more space and improve your comfortability and productivity.
5. Get a Separate & Dedicated Space:
Getting a separate and dedicated space for your home office can improve the productivity of your work manifold. Try to set up your home office in a completely separate room. If this is not possible, you can build a divider or separator that will give you extra privacy.
Keeping personal and professional life separate is crucial for productive work. If you have kids and pets they might hamper your work when you are in the middle of something really important like an online business meeting. So getting a separate space will help you a lot to work better and faster in your home office for sure.
6. Ensure High-Speed and Stable Internet Connection:
Nowadays most of the urban places are under high-speed internet coverage. The internet plays a vital role while you are working at your home office. You have to stay connected with your clients and co-workers all the time when you are working at your home office. If the connection becomes slower this will definitely affect your productivity in a negative way.
If you highly rely on the internet for your work, then try getting a wifi connection with a higher speed. Also, if lots of people use a common wifi connection, the internet can be really slow. If you are sharing a wifi connection with many people, maybe you should get a separate router and broadband connection for yourself.
Also, if you need constant and stable internet for your work, keep mobile data on as well. Attending zoom or Google meet business meetings or classes with keeping the video on requires a high-speed connection. So to increase the productivity of your home office, you must ensure a stable and high-speed internet connection.
7. Ensure Good Lighting Condition:
Ensuring proper lighting in a home office can reduce strain on your eyes. So it is extremely important. Install the lighting behind your computer or reading area so that there is no reflection off the monitor.
Also, place the monitor at the right distance so that you can read from the screen comfortably without using glasses. Don’t place a table lamp next to your monitor on your desk. If you need extra light, you can use an extra lamp, but you may end up with glares on your monitor screen if you do that.
Similarly, also check if the brightness of your monitor or laptop screen is set to an optimal level. That is, the brightness isn’t too low or too high. Keeping the monitor brightness at an optimal level is also essential for productivity. Since excess or low brightness of the screen can cause eye strain and may hamper you from working efficiently.
Sometimes people underestimate the Importance of lighting, and this hampers productivity and affects eyesight as well in the long run. This also reduces productivity. So make sure the lighting and your monitor screen brightness are at an optimal level.
8. Set Aside a Place for Gadgets:
According to a research journal of University of Chicago, mobile phones and accessories reduce your cognitive ability. This can easily damage the productivity of your home office and waste your valuable time.
If you are self-employed, you can not afford to waste your time because of your gadgets. You might need to use your smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets occasionally for your work. So don’t just throw them away to another room.
Just make a separate and dedicated place for any gadgets that grabs your attention while you are working at your home office. This will reduce distractions, and also you can use them occasionally when you need to use them.
9. Have a Way to Keep Time:
Most people who work from home often lose the count of time and tend to over-work by 25%. You might think working more than necessary is generally more productive. But in reality, if you overwork at your desk may cause serious physical issues like compromised posture and back pain in the long run.
Also, research shows that working during the day is more productive than working for late hours at night. If you work late hours at night, your ability to focus gets reduced. So to improve productivity, you should finish your work during the day and do not work late hours at night.
So, get a wall clock to keep track of time and take some small breaks between your work to do something else rather than sitting. Sitting at a stretch for long hours can be dangerous for your health.
If you want to know more about what happens to you, if you sit all day, check out this article.
10. Separate the Professional From the Personal:
Keeping the professional life separate from your personal life is very much important. It will boost your productivity, and you will get other benefits too.
Let me explain. Fully separating your business records from personal ones will help at tax times. You might have heard IFS tries to examine or scrutinize tax deductions related to home offices.
The more you will prove that your home office and business are separate, the chances are more that you will meet the requirements of the home office and avoid an audit. So keeping your personal and professional life separate is really important. This will provide more benefits than one can imagine.
If you want to know more about IRS Home Office Tax Deduction in the US, Visit their website here.
11. Consider getting Noise-cancelling Headphones:
This is a very important tip to improve productivity at your home office. If you experience lots of unwanted noise and sounds, you should consider getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
According to many pieces of research, Noise can affect your productivity as well as well being. Noise increases your stress and limits your productivity. Your ability to multitask is also reduced.
This problem can be solved by simply getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones for your home office. These headphones will reduce surrounding noises around you. Thus you will be able to focus on your work better, and you can get more things done in less time. Ultimately, your productivity will improve.
I personally try this one when I need to focus better, and this tip always helps.
12. Plan for any Potential Visitors:
If you are working for your home office, sometimes your clients or co-workers might visit you for any business purpose. You have to make sure you keep everything professional at your home office for that. Trust me, you do not want them to walk past your dirty kitchen. 🙂
Also, if your clients have to wait for you to make a comfortable sitting arrangement for them. Also, try to arrange some exciting books for them as well so that they don’t get bored while waiting.
13. Improve Your Home’s Air Quality:
According to a research journal, exposure to bad air quality can have a massive impact on your cognitive performance. So if you want to improve your productivity at your home office. You can improve the air quality for your home office by planting some indoor plants.
You should also keep the environment clean through frequent vacuum cleaning to reduce dust. If you keep your room’s doors and windows closed all the time, the oxygen level might get depleted. So, I would suggest you keep your windows open, keep your ceiling fan on and let proper air circulation through fresh air inflow from outside. This will improve the air quality of your home office and will allow you to work more productively and efficiently.
14. Consider buying a Cup/Drink Holder:
A drink or cup holder can be a handy accessory if you drink tea or coffee several times while working at your home office and don’t want any accidental spillage by knocking over a drink on your desk.
It might seem like an unnecessary accessory to you, but having a clip on a cup holder attached to the armrest of your chair can be very much convenient. It can be a lifesaver for your electronic devices. Once my roommate spilled tea on his Macbook Pro, and it cost him a lot more than a cup holder would cost.
So if you have faced similar problems, I think you would really appreciate how beneficial a cup holder can be for you. I would suggest everyone get a cup or drink holder because I have accidentally knocked off tea or coffee on my desk many times in the past.
So if you love your electronic devices and want to boost your productivity, try getting one Cup holder that can be attached to your chair’s armrest. Cup Holders generally cost around 10-20 dollars.
Check out my recommended cup holder on Amazon here.
15. Keep enough water supply:
Hydration is vital for workers to maintain their productivity. Many articles suggest the impact of Hydration on productivity is enormous. Staying hydrated makes your brain function properly. If you are dehydrated, your thinking capacity gets impaired.
If you are involved in creative works, this will definitely have a severe impact on your work. So drinking enough water while working is very important to maintain the productivity of yourself at your home office.
Just keep enough water supply around you. So that you don’t have to get up every time you need to drink some water. I keep a big water bottle and a glass on my desk. This really helps me to stay hydrated all the time when I work at my desk.
On a closing note, did you know that around 80% of the US population stays mildly dehydrated on a daily basis? This hampers their performance at their work by 14%. So, try to remain like the rest 20% by keeping yourself hydrated. Okay?
16. Use a Dedicated Phone:
Having a dedicated phone for your home office will allow you to keep your personal and professional life separate from each other. This will help you to maintain boundaries. This will help both you and your customers. A shared phone for both personal and professional use can cause confusion and a reduction of productivity.
You don’t want to pick up your business phone calls from your kids. So, you should definitely get a phone for the dedicated purpose of doing business where your business emails and other business-related social media accounts will be logged in only. Do not log in with your personal Facebook id on that phone.
If you keep a separate phone, you will not be distracted by personal messages and social media notifications while using that phone. This will increase the productivity of your work.
17. Think Vertically/Up and Down:
Most people have limited space for their home office. It is essential to use the small space for your home office to its maximum ability and capacity. If you ever feel like your home office can not fit all the things that you require while working, try to think vertically to maximize the home office storage capacity.
Try to set up a tall bookcase or hutch. You might even get a floating shelf. These will surely help you to keep all the things close to you that you require while working and will definitely boost your productivity.
18. Clear Your Home Office of Clutter:
If you can make your workspace free of clutter, you will definitely be able to work better. For this, you have to throw away all the unnecessary things out of your home office. This will help you in many ways. Firstly, it will make room for more things. Then getting rid of unnecessary items will help you to find any important stuff faster. So, you should definitely try that today if you want your home office to be more productive.
19. Utilize the Color Green in Your Home Office:
There is some research on how colors can stimulate creativity and productivity. I have studied several of them and found that if you go green, you might improve the productivity of your home office.
According to a recent study in the University of Texas, bland grey, white and beige colored offices might induce feelings of sadness, mostly in women.
On the other hand, green color improves creativity and productivity as it is said, the green color calms the mind and lets you think better while you are working at your office. The same principle is applicable to your home office as well.
20. Consider Upgrading your Laptop/PC:
If your computer system is slow, then your productivity is definitely going to fall. Using an old computer or laptop reduces your ability to multitask as old computer systems have less ram, and their processing power is lower than the latest ones.
So if you feel that your system is becoming a bottleneck for your productivity, you might need to upgrade your laptop or PC to boost the productivity of your work at your home office.
21. Buy A Good Webcam and Microphone If You Use Zoom:
If you have to attend business meetings or take classes, you might wanna get a good quality microphone and webcam. Most people use laptops for attending business meetings on zoom or google meet. The video quality of webcams that are built-in on laptops is actually rubbish. The same goes for the built in mic.
So if you want more engagement from your listeners on zoom, you should get a good quality webcam and a good microphone. This will help your business associates in the meetings to see you better and listen to you better.
22. Manage the Cables Properly:
Cable management can be a tough thing as we have to maintain lots of electronic devices and their wires and chargers. Tangled cable not only clutters up your workspace but also distracts you often from your work. So I will suggest you go wireless.
Use a wireless keyboard and mouse for starters. Then you can get wire clips to hold and manage wires better. Try to arrange the cables properly with clips and do not create a mess with cables. This will definitely improve your productivity.
23. Use the Pomodoro App To Increase Productivity:
This technique is proven by many scientific studies to boost and maintain productivity when you work at your desk for long hours. This technique basically tells you to work 25 minutes with full concentration and then take 5 minutes of break. I have personally tried this one and got great results. You can also boost your productivity while working at your home office using this technique. You will find an app that will act as a Pomodoro timer, and this app can help you to be more focused.
The link to the app is given below:
I have tried to mention all the possible tips to make your home office more productive and creative. If you can incorporate some of these tips to your Home Office if not all, then I believe, the productivity of your work at your home office will increase a lot. If I have missed anything, let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!! Before you go, take a minute to check out our article on 15 Best Home Office Chairs: A Complete Buyer’s Guide