Make Your Home Office Healthier and More Productive

Many people work from home today. Others bring work home from the office and get caught up in the evenings or on the weekends.

Working at home can be great, but there can also be far more distractions at home than at work. Family, neighbors, the TV, the refrigerator, and many other items at home can distract our minds (and our stomachs).

Even after months of practice, many of us do not have a good working environment at home. The desk is covered with bills, or we are using the spare dining room chair. Some issues in a home office are merely unhealthy.

There are many things you can do to make your home office healthier and more productive:

  1. Consider working while standing. Many employers are moving to standing workstations. Numerous studies have shown that sitting all day is a leading contributor to an early death. There are specialty workstations designed to be used standing up. You can even purchase a small table to place on top of your existing desk.

  • If you’re not used to standing for extended periods, your feet might be sore for a few days, but your health will improve.
  • Many people find they can concentrate better while standing. Give it a try before you reject the idea.
  1. Clean off your desk. The home desk seems to be a storage location for everything that can wait until another day. Bills, junk mail, bags, purses, flyers for school activities, and magazines are just a few of the things that find their way to the desk surface. 

  • Not only is it hard to find what you’re looking for, but working in all of that clutter is also distracting. It also reminds you of all the other things you need to get done.
  • Clearing off your desk will help you get the physical and mental space you need to be at your best.
  1. Consider getting an air purifier. An inexpensive air filter can remove many pollutants and allergens from the air. This is especially important in a home office. These rooms tend to be smaller, and we tend to stay in there for extended periods with the door closed.

  2. Check your lighting. Lighting in the home is frequently chosen to be attractive rather than functional. You would be well served to work with more light than you’re probably currently getting at home.

  • Dim lighting can make you feel sluggish and less productive. You might need an additional lamp or some brighter bulbs.
  1. If you’re going to sit, get a good chair. If standing isn’t for you, at least be sure to get a high-quality office chair. You should be pain-free and get enough support that you do not fatigue quickly. Your back will thank you.

  2. Minimize noise. Sound is important. If you’re not able to minimize the sounds in your work environment, consider getting some simple earplugs. You may prefer to put on headphones and listen to music or nature sounds while you work.

    Avoid music with lyrics. Thinking one thing and hearing another isn’t the most effective way to work. There are many recordings of rainstorms, waterfalls, and the like available online.

  1. Experiment with scents. Our environment also includes what we can smell as we are working. Try candles or a melting wax system with minty scents to boost energy and brain function.

Working from home can be better and more productive than working in a more conventional office setting. Take the time to optimize your workspace for both your health and your productivity. You probably already have some excellent ideas on how you can apply these tips to your home office. Let today be the day you start implementing them!