Whether you've been working remotely for years or only recently transitioned to working from home, creating a comfortable space can help boost your focus, efficiency and even your mood.
Here are five tips to transform your home office from a workspace to a space that works for you.
1. Customize your workspace
Did you know that the quality of your work and overall well-being gets a boost when you actually like where you work? No, not the company—but the physical space where you spend your time. In fact, a 2010 study by the University of Exeter found that having the ability to customize your workspace can make you 32% more productive.
From your chair to the colour of your pens, the choices you make when setting up you home office are entirely yours, so take the time to think about what you want. And once you've settled in, stay put! Working in various spots around your home can create an environment of inconsistency and make it harder to focus on your work.
2. Change your lighting, change your mood
Harsh office lighting can be a burden on your eyes—but working from home means you can control how you light your space.
It starts when you decide where to set up shop. Figure out which area in your home gets the most natural light during the time of day when you might need a boost, like early morning or during the afternoon lull.
When it comes to overhead and desk lighting, swapping old incandescent light bulbs for more efficient LED bulbs reduces your home energy consumption and you won't need to replace them as often. Smart bulbs are also a great option for energy efficiency and offer fun, customizable features like warmth and hue. For help relaxing at the end of the day, adjust your smart bulbs for a warmer hue or improve your focus by picking a cooler shade.
3. Set the perfect temperature
Too hot, too cold or just right? The temperature in your home office can actually impact your ability to stay focused. While Cornell University recommends 25°C, Helsinki University claims 21°C is the ideal temperature. It's an ongoing debate in offices around the world but when it comes to working from home, all that matters is what makes you most comfortable.
Don't forget to take advantage of natural light! Not only can it help brighten your workspace, leaving blinds or curtains open allows sunlight to shine in and help heat your home naturally.
4. Add air-purifying and anxiety-reducing houseplants
You might remember this hack from 5 Ways to Naturally Purify the Air at Home, but it's one of the best ways to improve your comfort at home.
Houseplants are all-natural and effective air purifiers that help filter pollutants and toxic chemicals out of the air. In fact, NASA conducted a study to find the most effective indoor plants for purifying the air and released a list of the top contenders. Boston Fern, Peace Lily, Bamboo Palm and Spider Plants are just a few types of houseplants that you can easily find in Alberta. They recommend two average-size air-purifying plants per 100 sq. ft. of home.
It's also been shown that houseplants can help reduce stress and curb anxiety. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology saw that active interaction with indoor plants (like touching and smelling) can improve both your mental and physical well-being.
5. Cut down on distractions
Whether it's a curious cat or a noisy roommate, working from home faces all kinds of challenges when it comes to staying focused. Avoid making it harder on yourself by cutting out unnecessary distractions and interruptions.
Leaving the TV on in the background, running your dishwasher multiple times throughout the day and taking breaks to power up your Xbox all lead to wasted time and energy. Try treating your workday as though you're in an office without access to the luxuries of home.
These five simple hacks are a sure-fire way to make spending time in your home office more enjoyable and eco-friendly. For more home hacks, visit our blog.