10 tips on how to make working from home comfortable and efficient

More and more employers offer the option to work from home, and employees prefer a flexible work schedule, meaning there is the opportunity to work partially or fully from a home office. While working from home gives you the freedom to plan your work hours, it’s very easy to stray from your work responsibilities and engage in other activities, such as household chores. It may also happen that you simply can’t focus on work at home because you’re used to working in a different environment, and that’s completely normal. Whether you’re a remote worker, a freelancer, or an entrepreneur, here are 10 tips to help you create a comfortable home office and unleash your maximum potential.

1. Establish a dedicated workspace:

  • Define a specific area where you work, intended solely for work purposes. Whether it’s a separate room, a desk, or a section of a table, it must be strictly for work. It’s not a place for eating, reading, or watching movies.
  • Why is this important? Because it signals to your body that it’s time to work. If you use the same space for multiple purposes, it’s easy to get distracted from work because there’s no clear association between that space and work. The same applies to your sleep: it’s not recommended to bring other activities into bed because they interfere with your sleep quality.
  • By clearly defining your workspace, you draw a clear boundary between work and personal life and can focus much better on your tasks.

2. Choose a suitable home office desk:

  • Remember, your desk is the centerpiece of your home office. Therefore, choose a desk that fits your work tasks. Consider how much desk space you need, whether you need to print and store papers, whether you use only a laptop or additional screens, and whether you need the desk to be adjustable or fixed in height. Once you’ve considered these factors, you can think about which room the desk should fit into. If you have a separate room, you don’t need to emphasize this aspect as much, but if you work in the bedroom or living room and have limited space, it’s crucial to consider how your home office will affect your other activities.
  • Check out the solutions available on the market and choose a desk that suits your needs and budget. Smart Home Office desks are specially designed for small homes where it’s not possible to create a separate office or home office corner. Our selection includes two functional desks: one for the bedroom or living room and the other for the kitchen and/or living room. Both desks can be easily hidden, creating a clear boundary between work and personal life. If you feel you can’t find a suitable solution, contact us at info@smarthomeoffice.eu, and we’ll develop your dream home office desk together.

3. Invest in an ergonomic chair:

  • Another key factor for successful work at home is an ergonomic chair that supports the correct posture. Ideally, choose a chair that you can adjust to your body and that feels comfortable to sit in.
  • Ensure that your lower back is supported and that you can adjust the height and tilt of the backrest. Also, make sure your arms are supported. If you find a chair with the right height and tilt, adjustability is less important.
  • You can find a selection of ergonomic chairs here.

4. Monitor your posture and ergonomics:

  • Once you have a suitable desk and chair, you need to set up your workspace so that you can work comfortably.
  • Comfort alone is not enough, and it’s advisable to take stretching breaks for at least 1-2 minutes every 60 minutes: stand up, stretch, walk around, and refill your water glass. Why is this necessary? Because you want to be as mobile and energetic in 20 years as you are now.
  • Sit in a position where your feet are firmly planted on the ground and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. If your workspace doesn’t allow for this, use additional support under your feet.
  • Place the screen about 50 cm away and at a height where you don’t have to tilt your head up or down.
  • Sit with a straight back and proper support. Change your position frequently to avoid adopting a static posture, which can lead to various health problems.
  • Use a laptop stand if you’re only working with a laptop.
  • An ergonomic mouse pad helps you maintain a comfortable hand position.
  • You can find additional information here.

5. Choose a brightly lit workspace:

  • Position your desk near a window to make the most of natural light. In the summer, when there’s plenty of light and the sun shines directly into the room, use curtains or blinds to protect against excessive heat and light. Ensure minimal glare.
  • In darker times, use additional task lighting if necessary to evenly illuminate your workspace. Avoid reflections. Ideally, choose a light color temperature that closely matches daylight to avoid feeling like it’s dark outside.
  • If the room doesn’t have enough light, consider using light therapy during dark times, using light therapy lamps that are 15 times brighter than regular indoor lamps, and simulate daylight. Light therapy usually lasts 20-30 minutes.
  • Adequate light reduces eye strain and improves your mood, helping you focus better and therefore making your work more efficient and productive.

6. Organize your workspace:

  • A tidy environment helps create clarity and maintain focus. So keep only essential items on your desk; organize your cables, and use dividers and systems to easily find your work items if needed.
  • Also, create order on your computer and create separate folders to store your files so you can find them when needed. Use different tools to manage your calendar or files.

7. Establish a consistent routine:

  • Set a regular daily schedule and let your family and colleagues know about it. Let them know when you’re available and when you’re engaged in focused work, meaning you’re not available. During this time, avoid all distractions so you can focus fully on your work.
  • Stick to your daily schedule: start and finish each workday at the same time.
  • Add a supportive habit to your morning routine: exercise, drink lemon water, plan your day, read, walk, or meditate. It must put you in the right mood so you can give your best throughout the day.

8. Prepare yourself every day as if you were going to the office:

  • To make your routine even more consistent, prepare yourself as if you were going to the office or meeting an important client.
  • Your appearance adds so much to how you feel. If you’ve made an effort with yourself, you automatically want to achieve more because why did you “dress up”? You don’t go to work in a bathrobe and messy hair.

9. Avoid distractions:

  • Working from a home office makes it very easy to be distracted by all sorts of distractions: household chores, the fridge, and snacks, phone notifications, social media, TV, family, pets, outside traffic and noise, and lack of motivation.
  • Whatever your current distraction is, it’s important to recognize that you have this problem, set a clear boundary, and establish activities to minimize distractions:
  • Set a specific schedule for doing household chores.
  • Prepare your meals for the week.
  • Put your phone in another room and put it on silent.
  • Use apps that prevent internet scrolling during work hours.
  • Unplug the TV.
  • Let your family know it’s your work time, for example, use a sign that says “Do not disturb, I’m focused.”
  • Keep pets in a separate room or enclosure.
  • Use noise-canceling headphones or acoustic finishes in the room: curtains, partitions, and panels.
  • Divide your work into smaller, realistic chunks, and use an accountability partner in your workspace.
  • There are many possibilities, and you just need to find a solution that works for you. There’s no one universal solution.

10. Take regular breaks:

  • It may seem that resting is for the weak and that work can’t be done during breaks. However, this attitude leads to stress and burnout. Muscle tension and back pain also arise from static postures. You get tired faster and can’t think as quickly, you become distracted, and the likelihood of making mistakes increases.
  • Thanks to breaks, you can do more work because you’re fresher and more energetic. Your thinking and creativity improve during breaks.
  • You can communicate with your colleagues or family during breaks to maintain social ties.
  • Remember to move and not just scroll on your phone during breaks. It’s important to look into the distance, walk, stretch, and drink water. All this is to be able to continue working with focus and satisfaction.
  • Set a regular schedule, for example, take a 5-10 minute break every hour and take a longer break at lunchtime. Follow this schedule to avoid excessive fluctuations in energy levels so you can be a good-feeling employee throughout the workday and week.

As you can see, these tips are well-known and simple. You just need to take yourself in hand and find the best ways to support your goal. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for working efficiently and comfortably at home. So explore and experiment with what works for you and enjoy the journey.

And remember, the right home office desk and surrounding environment are one of the cornerstones of creating an efficient home workspace. Check out desks ANNA and NELE to start your journey towards your dream home office. Because your home office should inspire you to live the life you want and deserve. And it all starts with your decision. The decision to be a better YOU.

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