Careful arrangement of your home office increases your workplace productivity. Your home office design must take furniture placement, desk space organization, and colors into consideration. Failing to follow general guidelines will distract you from your work, and it could also affect your health.
Equipment Basics for Your Work at Home Office
Your home office furniture and equipment must contain necessary basics:
- Chair with lumbar support
- Fax machine
- Filing cabinet
- Hands-free headset
- Pens or pencils
The items above increase workplace productivity by having frequently used equipment within reach of your computer chair. An all-in-one printer helps cover these needs in one small piece of equipment. Many fax, scanner, printer, and copier combinations are affordable. Look for them at computer stores and discount retailers with an electronics section.
In addition, you'll need commonly used software. Make sure you have a spreadsheet program, database program, word process, email, Internet, and sometimes an Instant Messenger, so that your employer can contact you throughout the day.
Most computers come with trials or full versions of Microsoft Office. If you need an affordable alternative, try Sun's Open Office Suite. It is free and compatible with Microsoft programs.
Ergonomic Design for Workplace Productivity
Working on a computer for hours every day increases your risk for eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome. By arranging your computer equipment and office furniture properly, you decrease these health issues.
Make sure your computer screen is within two and three feet from your eyes. The top of your screen should be level with your eyes while seated. Soft lighting also reduces strain on your eyes.
Proper posture is important to workplace productivity. If your back begins aching, you're productivity decreases. Place your feet flat on the floor. If your chair is too high, purchase a footrest and keep it under your desk. Do not slump while seated; it will cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. Choose an office chair with lumbar support that allows you to recline (to reduce the stress on your spinal column from time to time).
If you spend a lot of time taking notes while talking on the phone, make sure you have a hands-free headset. Speakerphones also work, but background noises may make it hard for the other party to hear you.
Your desk should contain the items you use most often within reach of your chair. Keep writing tools and paper close by. Right-handed people should place frequently used items such as your phone, pens, paper, and manuals to the right of their computer. Do the opposite if you are left-handed. This prevents back strain from having to reach and stretch at awkward angles when retrieving supplies.
Soothing Office Colors
The colors you use in your office also affect workplace productivity. Working from home is stressful, and you may have children trying to interrupt you. To reduce work-at-home stress, choose neutral tones that soothe and relax.
Color choices that impart serenity and a sense of calm include blues, greens, and beiges. Try painting the walls and ceiling with a light brown, and then use blue and green as accent colors.
Workplace productivity increases when you put thought into your office space. Remember to keep the area clean, and open windows so that you have fresh air coming in. In winter months, essential oils or scented crystals help to keep you productive, even when sunlight may be minimal.