While some people who work from home spend all of their work hours while sitting on the sofa or even on the bed, many people have a dedicated work area. Some may have set up a small desk in the corner of the bedroom, and others may have a dedicated home office.
Regardless of the type of work environment you have at home, you may be able to make your space more environmentally friendly. When your work environment is comfortable and healthy, you will notice a dramatic improvement in how you feel and in how you manage your work tasks.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
When you work at home, you may suffer from a wide range of physical symptoms that could impair your productivity and efficiency. For example, you may deal with fatigue, eyestrain, seasonal affective disorder, muscle aches, asthma or something else. These physical symptoms reflect the quality and quantity of work that you perform at your job.
If you struggle with getting out of bed because you dread the thought of sitting down at your workstation or if you often get the urge of calling in sick, you might not be the cause of the problem, but your workspace could.
In many cases, the physical environment is at least partly to blame for the symptoms that you may suffer from. Your environment may also be the cause of distractions that impair your ability to work.
What to Enhance
The good news is that when you understand how your work area may be to blame for at least some of your unpleasant symptoms and bothersome distractions, you can take action. In order to have a workspace that stimulates productivity and wellbeing, turn your attention to these points for inspiration and find out how you can improve your home office environment.
While everyone needs a regular supply of air, some air may be polluted with pet dander, dust, indoor pollution from cooking and more. The reality is that your body can tell the difference between breathing in fresh, clean area in a rural environment and polluted air in an urban environment. Even just stepping outside in the middle of your assignments or breathing in fresh air first thing in the morning helps you rejuvenate.
The good news is that you can introduce potted plants or an air purification system into your home to improve the cleanliness and purity of your indoor air. Plants are natural air purifiers because they emit healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air. Go literally green with plants and your allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions will improve as a result.
There is a big difference between natural and artificial light. Your body thrives off of sunshine, so allow as much natural light to filter into the room as possible. Minimize the use of curtains and blinds when you are working, and place your desk near a window. It can also help to paint the walls a lighter shade so that the natural light reflects throughout the space.
At night or during dark winter days, consider using LED instead of traditional lighting. Other than being more energy-efficient, LED imitates natural light most closely and emits less heat. If you take these simple actions, you will soon notice that you feel more energized and alert throughout the day.
Some people create such a chilly environment in their home through air conditioning in the warm weather season that they have to wear a sweater. This inflates energy bills and also may incorporate more air pollution in your home.
Consider using a programmable thermostat to control the temperature in a reasonable manner. You can also use a ceiling fan or portable air conditioner to manage the temperature in the specific room that you are spending time in.
It can be distracting to hear many noises while you are trying to work, and this could cause a headache, stress and more. Noises may be heard from outside the home, such as the neighbors’ dogs barking and traffic passing along a nearby road. Some noises are generated from the inside, such as your children playing or watching TV in the other room.
If noise is a concern, you can install new insulation and more insulated windows to control noises that filter in from outdoors. You can also use upholstery, curtains, area rugs and other soft materials in your room to create an additional noise buffer. You may even invest in a white noise machine or use the sound of the ceiling fan to block some of the noises that may be interfering with your level of concentration and creativity.
When indoor air pollutants, unnatural light, and excessive sounds pollute your home environment, you can easily feel uncomfortable and even physically sick in different ways while you are trying to work.
Take time to identify potential environmental causes of the symptoms that you may be feeling, and use some of these beneficial tips to improve your environment. By making this effort, you may notice that your productivity level increases.