How to Make Your Home Office More Productive

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance

If you're like most people these days, there are times when you have to bring your work home with you. And if you work from home, that time is all the time!

Although you can't always avoid work when you're at home, you can make it go smoother and faster by putting some time and thought into your home office.

"Your home office should inspire, not hinder, your productivity. Unfortunately, many [people] who work from home neglect to create an environment that facilitates productivity," says contributor John Rampton. "From cluttered desks to uncomfortable keyboards, even the smallest factors can have a big impact on a home office. Studies have repeatedly found that negative office conditions harm concentration, decrease work satisfaction and limit productivity. Fortunately, a few small tweaks can transform a limiting space into an energizing one."

Start by upgrading your chair, Rampton suggests. "Nearly two-thirds of adults in America have lower back pain. Although people with persistent lower back pain should see a doctor, most of us can avoid or limit the amount of pain we endure by rethinking how -- and where -- we sit," he says. "If your chair is old or poorly designed, it could be contributing to lower back pain. Any amount of pain is detrimental to productivity, so it's important to solve this problem quickly."

Next, shed some light on the situation. "The single overhead light from your ceiling fan isn't enough," Rampton insists. "To avoid eye strain, implement some bias lighting in your office. If you don't want to attach lights to the back of your monitor, put a lamp on your desk behind your display. This will brighten the room and help prevent vision fatigue. Don't forget about natural light, either. Set up your desk perpendicular to a window so you can let in the sunshine without putting a glare on your screen."

Finally, add some color. The color green, specifically. "Humans spent thousands of years in nature before we created homes and buildings. Now that we're inside, we miss the greenery of the outdoors -- and our productivity suffers for it," Rampton reports. "According to some estimates, adding plants to your office could boost your productivity by up to 15 percent. You don't need to be a gardener to take care of a couple indoor plants. Succulents require little maintenance and offer the same mental benefits as larger, more demanding plants."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.