1 June 2016

Outfitting Your Home Office for Maximum Productivity

// // 5 comments

If you are a professional blogger, programmer or other telecommuting worker, you may enjoy bragging to your friends about how you can work absolutely anywhere.  Yes, we “could” sit on a tropical beach, with a laptop, sipping a drink with a little umbrella, to do our work. In reality, that doesn’t happen all that often, for most of us.  Actually,, that is probably not the most realistic place to get work done. The bright sun would make it hard to see your screen and noise from other people would bother you. ADHD would kick in and you would stop working and say, “Look! A seagull!” (Or perhaps an attractive person in a bathing suit.) At least that work fantasy is nice to dream about. Truly, most of the work you do will probably be in your own home office.  The key to getting real, productive work done is to make your environment comfortable and a bit less distracting than that imaginary beach.  Here are some tips to set up your office for maximum productivity.

     Ergonomics

Many of us these days work on a laptop. The problem with “laptops” is right in their name. You shouldn’t work on a laptop with it in your lap, for long periods of time. That position puts your head down at an unnatural angle and causes neck strain. It puts your arms in a bad position and can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. You will tend to slump over and have bad posture.  Whether you have a laptop of a desktop, it is best to sit at an actual table or desk.  Try to get your screen up to eye level. If you have a monitor and it is too low, stick it on a riser or even put a couple thick books under it. Sit in a decent chair where your arms can reach the keyboard with a 90 degree bend to your elbow. Using an ergonomic split keyboard, such as the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 model, will put your hands, wrists and forearms at a proper angle. It will prevent or relieve the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.  If you can have a desk with a separate keyboard and monitor that is great. You can even plug your laptop into that setup, then pull the cables and go, when it is time to hit that beach.

     Minimize distractions

Other people are the worst distraction. Try to get a private place to work. If you can’t, try to put your back to the source of distraction and put on some headphones. If you don’t work well with music, try using white noise or ASMR recordings, that you can find on Youtube. If you have a window, use shades that let in natural light, but block visual distractions from outside. Select Blinds in partnership with Groupon Coupons has a great selection to match any decor.

     Have good lighting

Bad lighting can cause such problems as depression, headaches and drowsiness. Try to use bright white lights with a color temperature that is close to natural sunlight. Replacing an old yellowish incandescent bulb with a new-style white LED bulb can make a world of difference in your productivity and mood. You will save electricity as well.

     Get out of the chair sometimes

Sitting for many hours at your desk seems like the best way to get work done, but sometimes it is not. Take a short break, at least once an hour. Get up and walk around or do a short workout. When you go back to work, the quality will be better.

So until you can find that perfect distraction-free beach to work on, try to spend the bulk of your work time in a good environment. If you are yearning for that beach, just reward yourself with with that tropical drink after 
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5 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. Great Advise Debarpan ,
    we better do take care of our posture
    and make sure we work in a nice comfortable
    environment . Long sitting in front of the
    Laptop is not good for our health and good to
    take brakes and really look at the seagulls :)
    You give very good suggestions here ,how
    we can make our workplace nicer to be more
    productive.
    Thank you
    Erika

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  2. Hi Debarpan, great post and so true, It is so easy to become very uncomfortable while working then you will stop being so productive. I am lucky enough to have the house to myself during the daytime so I can work, many people are trying to get their internet business off the ground in their spare time and that means evening work when everyone else is at home too. It's a really good tip to get off the chair every so often, this also gives your eyes a rest and allows them to focus on other things apart from the screen, which is very important for eye health.

    Enjoy the journey!

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  3. Hi Deparban.

    You raise some interesting points in your article. Is it fair to say that your work environment can affect your mood, Distractions can also affect your workload. In other word if you are distracted then you wont get much done! So it's best to have a happy and functioning work space, That is not to say that sometimes a bit of time away, A walk in the garden, A walk in the park, Even just leaving your workspace to make a drink can all be good. Blogging or doing computing work on your own can be a hard and sometimes boring job but when you have great friends and a great community to help you then it makes it all worthwhile. Great site my friend! Keep writing!

    William

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  4. This was a fun article, Debarpan.

    I like the idea of turning your back on your distractions, and putting your headset on haha. I'll have to try that next time someone's talking to me while I'm at the keyboard.

    As for getting out of your chair... absolutely essential. People make a big mistake for their health and for the quality of their work when they never let go.

    I will say, though, since I live very close to a beach... it's about the worst places I can think of to work on a computer, between the sun, the wind and the sand. Work first, walk the beach later when it's "get out your chair" time.

    ReplyDelete