Show all

13 Tips to Create a Productive Home Office

set up a productive space

Your business success has as much to do with your surroundings as it does with your skill. So make sure your workspace matches up to ensure you achieve your goals.

As a fully remote company, our staff has loads of experience with creating our own workspaces. This means that the practical tips below are tried and tested and sure to positively impact your work output.

1. Regulate the temperature

Whether it’s too hot or too cold, the discomfort caused by temperature is enough to impair even the most productive professional.

Research conducted by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  suggests that work performance starts to decrease at temperatures above 24°C (75°F).

There seems to be a bit more variation and debate on what temperature is too cold for work, so you might have to fight that out with your coworkers. This won’t be an issue if you’re in an air-conditioned office, but if you’re just starting out you’ll at least want to incorporate a desk fan and mini heater.

2. Keep things organized

There’s no quicker way to become unmotivated than to walk into your office in the morning to find a mess waiting for you. This calls for a great organizational system.

Luckily, there are so many ways to achieve order in your office space.

You could opt for generic office drawers, but we’d suggest keeping these situated at the sides of your desk, as drawer space above your legs could negatively affect the ergonomics of your work environment.

There are very aesthetically pleasing on-desk office supply holders available on the market, usually made of plastic or acrylic. These can be perfect for papers, files, stationery, and other office accessories.

3. Keep yourself comfortable

If you are in the fortunate situation to pick out your own office layout, you are in luck.

You can choose to incorporate ergonomic furniture into your office space, ensuring hours of comfortable working with no resulting aches and pains.

Ergonomic furniture ranges from standing desks to shaped keyboards to supportive chairs. We know that the world of ergonomic office furniture can become overwhelming, so we’d suggest starting with our article on the best ergonomic office chairs on the market right now to ensure you have sufficient back support.

4. Manage surrounding noise

Whether you’re in an office building or your home office, noise is a guarantee.

But luckily for the more distracted among us, noise-canceling headphones offer an iron-clad solution. These headphones provide seclusion from any surrounding noise, while also offering complete privacy in the case of confidential calls or content.

When possible, it is also wise to have a lockable door protecting your sacred office space from disturbance.

5. Stay hydrated and fed

If you want to be able to push through an 8+ hour workday, you’re going to need enough nutrition.

Keeping the work fridge stocked at all times will prevent having to break your productive workflow by leaving your workspace to buy food.

You will also want to keep water at your desk at all times to sip on throughout the day, as staying hydrated improves focus and alertness.

Just be sure to use a spill-proof container to protect your paperwork and appliances.

6. Ensure you have backups

Much like running out of food, having to interrupt your work process because you’re out of paper or staples can put a damper on your productive output.

This is why it is important to stay stocked up on all the office basics.

In some larger offices this is a no-brainer, as there is usually an assigned employee tasked with keeping the office stocked. But if you work from home, this is a responsibility to consider.

7. Limit distractions

This will vary from person to person but the principle stays the same: avoid distraction.

If you know that you can’t resist your pet’s cuteness, maybe don’t set up their bed in your home office. Or if you struggle to avoid striking up conversations, put on noise-canceling headphones with soft music or other non-disruptive media to keep your brain occupied.

Focusing solely on work for several hours is sure to be draining, so incorporate little pleasures that don’t take away from your productivity.

One way to implement your interests is to introduce them as rewards. For instance, after successfully completing a presentation, give yourself a few minutes to make a snack, play with your pet, or watch a short video.

8. Set the mood

Studies have found that ligthing has the greatest effect on the human body of all indoor environmental factors. Proper lighting can greatly aid in increased energy levels and a better mood.

In large offices, employers typically include bright, fluorescent lights to improve employee productivity, but if you have personal control of your office space, natural light is the suggested route. Research suggests that sunlight creates the ideal environment for both visual and non-visual functions.

You can also improve the comfort of your office setup by incorporating yellow light, which is softer on the eyes and promotes a cozy ambiance. Be sure to track your office productivity if you choose to implement this though, as it could suffer under the relaxing effects of this kind of lighting.

Brightly colored LED lighting has a mood-lifting effect and allows for a lot of customization. This might be worth considering if you hope to put in some overtime and can’t make use of natural light all the time.

9. Get some fresh air

Research performed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that productivity and business finances are heavily aided by office conditions such as fresh air.

When possible, we would suggest letting in a cool morning breeze to help wake you up and prepare your brain for optimal cognitive function.

If you aren’t in the situation to allow for natural airflow, we would at least suggest an office air purifier to guarantee the highest quality of air to get you through your day.

Using fresh air in conjunction with natural light in your office is sure to be the power duo that improves your mood and productivity.

10. Pick a Scent

Whether you’re in a large communal office or in your own workspace, we suggest incorporating a scent that makes you feel comfortable.

This has a few benefits, as it can serve as a calming agent during difficult projects or even be therapeutic. A study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal suggests that aromatherapy can successfully reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. This results in well-rested employees who are ready to take on stressful workloads.

If aromatherapy is something you dabble in, you can supply your whole office with the perfect scent to improve productivity.

There are many ways to incorporate scent into your space, such as diffusers, oil burners, scented candles, and room spray. If you’re concerned about the effects of your scenting agent on your respiratory health, we would suggest making use of beeswax candles or soy candles, as both are hypoallergenic, natural, and don’t release harmful agents into the air.

11. Keep appliances in reach

This can be done through physical proximity or wireless connection, but either way, preparation is key.

To ensure seamless workdays, we suggest always being connected to any crucial appliances. This includes printers, routers, scanners, and even personal devices like wireless keyboards.

This applies in personal offices where you can place your needs on your desk and large offices where appliances are shared amongst employees.

Start your day by ensuring everything is up and running and connected, ready to serve at the press of a button.

12. Protect your eyes

It’s no secret that the business world revolves around A LOT of screentime.

Unfortunately, that same screen time negatively affects the productivity of nearly every industry, as the blue light emitted by monitors is linked to blurry vision, tired eyes, and other distracting symptoms like headaches.

An article in the International Journal of Opthalmology reports that blue light penetrates the cornea and damages the retina, while also inhibiting melatonin production in the brain and, thus, reducing sleep quality.

Luckily, the office supply market is staying on the ball with products like blue light filtering glasses or monitors designed to reduce eye strain.

If you plan to work for an extended number of hours, we would highly suggest optimizing the eye comfort of your workspace.

13. Incorporate a planner

Whether digital or hard copy, you will 100% need some sort of planner to keep you on top of things at work.

A great way to incorporate a planner into your office is through a notice board or chalkboard directly in front of your desk.

While this is a non-negotiable feature of every productive office setup, the effectiveness of the planner is still up to how often you update and check your to-do list.

Conclusion

Now that you know the top tips that have worked for us, it’s time to go design your own office space to improve employee productivity.

If you’re looking for office supplies to help build your dream workspace, you might want to check out our article on 100+ work form home essentials.

We would love to hear which of our tips you incorporated into your personal office space in the comments below! Feel free to include any more tips of your own to help out your fellow professionals.

Salman Aslam
Salman Aslam
Salman Aslam is the Managing Director at Omnicore, a leading Healthcare Digital Advertising & Marketing Agency helping clients across the globe. You can follow him on Twitter for tweets and rants about latest news, tips and advice on digital marketing.

Comments are closed.