Maximize Productivity with These Home Office Hacks


Most of 2020 was a dumpster fire that we will not speak of, but it led to a notable trend in the workforce we will acknowledge, specifically the growing popularity of remote jobs and the increasing availability of remote positions. Recent studies have shown working from home to be more productive, especially if employees use strategies to maximize productivity. One of these is to ensure you have a good home office space. Perhaps you recently got a new remote position, or you have been remote for a while and are looking for ways of improving. Whatever the case, here are some life hacks on how to design a home office space that will maximize productivity.

1. Have a Separate Workspace

Our brains come to associate different places with different things, depending on what we use them for. When you’re working from home, blurring the lines can be tempting and problematic. You may find yourself thinking it would be more comfortable to work on your bed, but this area is associated with sleep rather than work, so you will be more inclined to get tired or have trouble concentrating. On the flip side, if you train yourself to work sitting on your bed, you may find yourself having a harder time sleeping at night since your brain will think it’s time to be awake and working.

What about curling up on the couch with your laptop, then? Well… That also might not be the best idea. Since couches are generally used for watching movies and other relaxing activities, your brain will think it’s time to relax and won’t want to focus on work. The kitchen table or counter? That could work, but you’ll likely find yourself wanting to snack throughout the day since you’re where you go when it’s time to eat.

So where can you work to maximize productivity? You will want to set up an area designated for work, but if you have limited space and don’t have an entire room to turn into a home office, you can use a room for multiple purposes. Just make sure there’s a separate space for each. Pick a corner in your bedroom, kitchen, or living room and set up a desk. If you’re very limited on space, folding tables are a great way of conserving space while still giving yourself a separate workspace.

2. Get Comfortable

You don’t have to be on a cozy couch to be comfortable during your workday. Invest in a good chair, and keep ergonomics in mind. You may even want to look into a standing desk if you see yourself doing better when you aren’t sitting as much. If needed, get a taller computer monitor or a stand for your existing one. Your neck will thank you if the screen is at eye level.

After you have your basic setup, consider lighting. You will want your space to be well-lit and to maximize natural lighting. Not only will this help you better stay alert throughout the day, but it will also help you sleep better at night.

You will also want to ensure you are working in a comfortable temperature. Most studies agree that temperature affects productivity, but few agree on what the ideal temperature for productivity should be, so determine what works best for you. If you find yourself needing to change the temperature during the day and you have a smart thermostat, you won’t need to step away from your work to adjust it. You can quickly do so from the app on your phone and then get back to what you were doing.

3. Minimize Distractions

Another smart home hack to maximize productivity would be to get a video doorbell as a way of minimizing distractions. Without a video doorbell, when you hear the door ring on a day you’re expecting a food delivery, you will be inclined to step away from your work to answer the door. Then, when you find out it’s not the DoorDash driver but a solicitor, you have to politely get them to go away before you can go back to your workspace and resume what you were doing. It’s a hassle and takes up time you could be using more productively. With a video doorbell, when the doorbell rings, you can quickly check to see if it’s something you need to take a brief break for or if you can ignore it and resume.

You may find yourself contending with other external distractions if you live in a loud area or aren’t the only person home during the day. Unwanted noise can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work, but it can often be decreased or eliminated using sound-reducing panels or noise-canceling headphones.

You don’t have to work in a bland, quiet area to maximize productivity, though. Get some tunes going if you’ve found that helps you and it works for your job, and feel free to add some decorations to personalize your workspace. However, you will want to avoid clutter, which can draw your attention and distract you from your work. Consider getting a few plants. These are great decorations that will improve productivity in addition to air quality.

After you’ve designed a home office space to improve the quality of your workday, don’t be afraid to add or change things down the road. It’s your workspace, so make it yours.

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