How to design a healthy home office that increases productivity
How to design a healthy home office that increases productivity home office design
How To Design A Healthy Home Office That Increases Productivity

How To Design A Healthy Home Office That Increases Productivity How To Design A Healthy Home Office That Increases Productivity

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Fortunately, we’ve done our research and have looked into how best to optimize your home office space, so that you can be comfortable and stay focused.

Creating a dedicated workspace helps minimize distractions from family, pets, TV, and all the other goings-on at home that might beg your attention.

Finally, it’s important to understand your usual working behavior, so that you can plan your space accordingly. All of us have different working styles. Your space needs to accommodate your style, and it can be done through a little bit of spatial planning.

How to Design Your Home Office for ProductivityPractical tips for optimizing your space to work from home

You already have enough mental clutter, so why put up with physical clutter? Working from home means that your entire home or apartment is a potential for distraction. You might find yourself unable to look away from that pile of dirty dishes you’ve been meaning to wash or all the toys strewn on the floor.

Several studies reveal that good posture and ergonomics can result in notable increases in productivity.

One big culprit of desk-dirtying is food. Eating at your desk is especially tempting to do when working from home. While we’re not saying you should ban yourself from eating at your workspace, we are saying that it’s important to make an effort to clean up after yourself as soon as possible. Utensils, crumbs, napkins, etc., make for an unpleasant and untidy workspace, which in turn makes for an unproductive mind.

The difference between an ill-fitting office chair and an ergonomic one is like night and day. A correctly sized and ergonomic chair will greatly reduce risk of physical problems and encourage you to sit properly with its comfortable and supportive system. Having adjustable and maneuverable capabilities within an office chair’s construction is highly important as well. The adjustability enables the chair to fit properly to your body type, while maneuverability allows you to move more easily from your seated position.

Working from home is great — no commute, no dress code, no noisy co-workers—but remote work has its own challenges. Namely, staying productive. Working on the couch in your pajamas is great until you realize it’s lunchtime and you’ve barely accomplished anything on your to-do list.

Sit Right, Sit Comfortably Aeron® Office Chair, Mineral by Don Chadwick, from Herman Miller

A height flexible desk adjusted to full standing position is a great way to encourage yourself to get up while you’re working. If a height adjustable desk isn’t feasible, there are always monitor and keyboard adjustable trays that can latch onto standard desks and be adjusted when you feel like standing. Throwing in an anti-fatigue floor mat or a stool to perch on helps to train your body for standing over longer periods of time.

When working from home, distraction comes easily, especially if you’re not the only one home. It’d be fair to say that breaks in concentration not only lead to decreased productive output, but potentially lead to frustration. Setting up camp in one of the more secluded rooms in the house is a great first step to reducing or even eliminating distractions.

In a study done by German neuroscientists, white noise was shown to improve memory. Meanwhile, in a study done by Rensselaer Polytechnic University, workers were more focused while listening to natural sounds compared to working in silence or with white noise.

Between the angle of the light source and its color, lighting in itself plays an important role with increasing comfort and optimizing productivity levels. The best way to work with natural lighting and avoid glare is by angling your monitors parallel to the windows, and by using a desk lamp to soften the brightness of the monitor.

Need more tips for working from home? Check out some of our other resources:

As more people work from home, it’s become more essential than ever to have the home office support health and productivity. However, ending up with an uncomfortable work environment still proves to be quite easy. If the space doesn’t suit your working behavior or your mental and bodily needs, that can ultimately result in reduced productivity and poor physical health.

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For example, when working at a computer, your elbows should be at right angles and the screen roughly at eye level so your body is properly aligned, rather than slouched over your laptop or workstation in the “turtle pose.”

Finally, it’s a good idea to consider storage options for your work area. You’ll need a place to tuck away any papers, supplies, or gadgets, whether those are boxes, file cabinets, or shelves. Having good storage and organization options will not only help you keep your workspace neat, but also save time and help you find things quickly.

A study in the 1980s followed a $50,000 workplace renovation that installed more windows to allow more natural light to enter the office. While it was a pricey renovation, the company saw a boost in productivity so high that it experienced a $500,000 surge in revenue.

One from the Institute for Work and Health gave a group of about 200 office-working tax collectors adjustable chairs and ergonomic training and measured their pain levels and productivity. Over time, this resulted in notable decreases in soft-tissue injury and pain as well as productivity increases of nearly 18 percent.

Similar to improper desk height, an inappropriate office chair can lead to increased risk of injury and reduced productivity. A chair that doesn’t support your body properly only encourages poor sitting habits, which opens the door to potential neck, shoulder, back and hip problems.

Without a doubt, natural lighting is great on the eyes and great for creating ambiance. However, getting the angles of your monitor right will make the difference between a comfortable and focused working session versus one that strains the eyes, dries them out and gives you a headache.

Allowing as much natural light as possible into your workspace decreases things like eye fatigue and headaches while increasing productivity.

At the same time, a height adjustable desk is a great way to move away from sedentary habits. Between sitting in front of the computer and lounging at home, people sit an average of 7.7 hours a day.

For more considerations and recommendations for working or operating a business from home, check out this guide to setting up a home workspace excerpted from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook.

To help reduce such potentially long term problems, it’s important to make sure that your desk is right for your height. A fixed desk that is too high can result in wrist and shoulder problems, while a desk that’s too low can result in hunching. Generally, the suggested standard height of a desk is 34 inches. But a height adjustable desk is perfect in this instance, as it can adjust to your preferred sitting height regardless of how tall you are.

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Silence! BuzziTile 3D – Large by Sas Adriaenssens, from BuzziSpace

Some research shows that even the smallest engagements with nature can help boost mood and productivity, so no worries if you live in a more urban environment. If your home office doesn’t have easy access to natural views, consider placing some potted plants within your field of vision, or use your breaks to take a walk in the local park.

After 10 years of studying this issue, Dr. Chris Knight and his colleagues concluded employees were 15% more productive with a few houseplants in the office because they were able to actively engage with their space. In addition to plants’ overall soothing presence, imagine the benefits of forcing yourself to take a break and water the plants.

While you may not have the luxury of fancy ergonomic chairs at home, there are a number of ways you can adjust your work setup that will benefit your body and your work.

How to Work Smarter: 3 Workplace Productivity Myths DebunkedWhether you work in an office or from home, staying focused can range from mildly difficult to downright impossible…medium.com

In a two-month study done by the University of Greenwich, cooler lighting was shown to improve happiness, increase alertness through lowered melatonin levels and decrease eye strain.

If things seem to pile up fast, it may be a good idea for you to schedule a time every day or week to tidy up — whether that’s the whole house or just the area you’re working in. Your cleanup time might even serve as a productive break from work when you need one!

Take a look at this roundup of office ergonomics resources for ergonomics for more specific tips on the healthiest ways to work.

If no such room exists, there are alternative options. Install sound absorbers, or run background noises. Sound dampeners will help to absorb and muffle external noises for a quieter working experience, while running a background noise will help to drown out distracting noise. If going the background noise route, it’s generally recommended to go with white noise or natural sounds, as either type serves dual purposes.

Simultaneously, the right light color makes a difference in productiveness. Warmer lighting (lighting that gives off a yellow, red or orange hue) has been shown to encourage a sense of comfort and increase sleepiness, which is perfectly fine if a relaxed atmosphere is the aim. However, if the aim is to have focused attention, then lighting that gives off a cooler hue (like blue or pure white) will do just that.

Know How You Work Blossom Desk and Blossom Bookshelf from DesignIt by Moe’s

Research has shown that exposure to nature and greenery increases worker happiness and productivity while reducing stress. If you have views of trees and shrubs, turn your desk toward the window.

The more you work from home, the more your home office should reflect your habits and adjust to your needs. Creating a healthy home office environment is essential to supporting your work lifestyle. Otherwise, what’s the point of working from home when you’d be more comfortable working at the office? Shop from YLiving’s wide assortment of office furniture to create a perfect and healthy home office.

Apart from numbers and studies, natural light (and that vitamin D boost) makes you feel happier and more ready to take on the day. So keep your curtains or blinds open and make sure you have good lighting in your workspace for when it’s cloudy or dark.

Besides the practical aspect of a separate workspace, physical boundaries also help maintain some mental boundaries so that your two lives don’t bleed together (that’s where things can get hairy). Having a place to “go to work,” even if it’s just a table or a corner set aside for that purpose, gives your workday some structure. Entering that space becomes a mental trigger that it’s time to get down to work and focus.

Poor posture and body positioning can lead to musculoskeletal disorders over time. Things like carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains or lower back injures are just a few of the issues that can arise after extended, repetitive work in an awkward position. This effectively leads to reduced productivity, definitely in the short term and possibly longer.

Leveling Your Work Space (l. to r.) Modica Mobile Credenza, Modica Desk, TC-223 Fabric Task Chair and Eileen Shelf from BDI. Nelson™ Saucer Bubble Pendant from Nelson Bubble Lamps, and Circa Table Lamp from Pablo. Image via

If you fidget and like to frequently get up and pace while working through a problem, the last thing you need within your personal space is no space. Depending on the size of the room, it could be in your best interest to invest in smaller office furniture. Arrange some pieces against the walls so that you have more floor space to move about. Or, if you like having an open workspace and hate working in clutter, then investing in additional storage pieces will help to keep your home office clean, organized and exactly to your liking.

Let There be Light (from l. to r.) Eames® Molded Plastic Armchair with Dowel-Leg Base, AJ Table Lamp, Tolomeo Mega Wall Light. Image via

To help you put your nose to the grindstone and keep it there, it’s important to create a space that will allow you to do your best work. We’ve put together some tips and tricks on how to design your home office space for productivity.

7 Healthy Habits for Remote WorkersTips for staying fit & focused while working from homemedium.com

Besides cleaning your living space, it’s important to keep your desk area tidy. You might also think about starting or ending your day by organizing your desk area, making sure to file away papers, put away pens, and generally ensure you have a clean and distraction-free workspace conducive to productivity.

Bringing greenery into the home office has few disadvantages. Depending on the plant, they’re generally cheap and easy to care for. However, the real goal with introducing plants into the workspace is to create an actively engaging environment that will boost performance and happiness within your home office space.

Sitting has essentially become the new smoking because of how badly it affects your physical health over time. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time stalls your muscles from breaking down fats and sugars, which can lead to an increase in cardiovascular related issues and obesity.

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