How to optimise your home office for productivity and wellbeing

Putting deliberate thought into the physical space in which you work at home can work wonders for how effectively you do your work and how good you feel while doing it. In addition, being deliberate about your home office set-up can make it easier to separate your work from your non-work life, to avoid boundaries blurring.

Aim

To create a home office environment that helps you be more productive and happy.

Resources

  • A physical work location in your home
  • Some budget (ideally a few hundred dollars) from your employer to potentially upgrade your chair, webcam, lighting, and microphone.

Method

  1. Pick a dedicated location. You probably already have an area where you work – but ask yourself: is it ideal? An ideal location is one where you ONLY do work in it, and thus, your brain associates this location with work and nothing else. If you are not lucky enough to have a dedicated space (even if it’s just the corner of your living room table) for work, make sure you pack up your “home office” at the end of every day to reduce the chance of work spilling over into your non-work life.
  2. Get the basics right. The most important purchases you can make are a good chair (go to some office shops and find one that feels good for you), and assuming you are doing lots of virtual meetings, a good webcam (and try to position it at eye level for the best view of you), a microphone (a moderately cost-effective option), and lighting (a cost-effective and a more expensive option) are essential. Ideally, if you usually work from a laptop, purchase an external monitor that you can plug into. Having your screen at eye level is much better for your posture and working on a larger screen makes everything easier and more enjoyable.
  3. Think about aesthetics. There are two things to consider when it comes to aesthetics – what’s in front of you and what’s behind you. If you have a lot of video meetings, you (and others) will spend a lot of time looking at your background – so spend some time curating it. You might pick some nice artwork or a plant. On the topic of plants, greenery has been shown to boost wellbeing and productivity, so pot plants can be great to bring into your home office environment.

Outcome

Putting the time and thought into your home office should help you get into flow more easily when you start work and make your workday more enjoyable (and physically comfortable).