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How to Create a Productive Home Office Workspace

With the proper work-from-home office setup roughly 40% of Canadian jobs can be done from home according to Statistics Canada. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Statistics Canada has produced several studies on the working-from-home phenomena which exploded out of necessity to lessen the effects of the pandemic on the overall health and well-being of Canadians. In 2016 only 4% of workers spent the majority of their hours working from home. This real-life experiment has provided a plethora of useful data on productivity and worker satisfaction giving many employees and employers much to discuss as more and more people are seeking the freedom to work from home. While management has pushed for a return to the office many workers have proven that, with the proper work-from-home office setup, not only can productivity skyrocket but employee well-being can drastically improve as well which can drastically improve the bottom line. If working from home is on your horizon here are some productive home office ideas to help you create the perfect place to maximize your productivity, creativity, and focus. The best place to start is with a home office setup checklist.

1. Picking the location

The perfect work-from-home office setup would be an enclosed room that has a door to shut at the end of the workday to create the essential separation of work from your home life. This is not possible for many people as the cost of housing has many downsizing or renting smaller and smaller places that simply do not have a spare room to dedicate to a permanent work-from-home office setup. Regardless of your present circumstance, the essential thing to consider is that the space is dedicated as a workspace, using the kitchen table when it's available and then moving to the bedroom when the kids get home from school does not make for a pleasant or productive work experience. Creating a dedicated space, even if it is only a closet is the first consideration on your home office setup checklist.

2. Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of how the human body interacts with products and how it affects our physical and psychological well-being. Having your chair and desk at improper heights can cause neck and back strain that can lead to permanent problems. The same goes for monitor angles and keyboard placement. Taking some serious time to source exact surface heights for your particular size as opposed to going along with the industry standards can have a huge benefit on your comfort and help you avoid physical problems in the future. The better quality desks and chairs can be adjusted for height so keep that in mind as you get your work-from-home office set up.

3. Lighting

While natural light is the best light for increased productivity and quality of life, according to a Northwestern University in Chicago, it can't be your only source of light. Make sure your workspace is well-lit. Investing in some task lighting and small lamps can help to reduce eye strain and alleviate fatigue.

4. Don't forget the supplies

Batteries for your camera, printing paper, that obscure cable: missing any of these things can mean the difference between getting that report out on time or that technical display to work. Only you know all the supplies and tools you need to be a top performer who gets the job done, make sure you have these on hand and in sufficient numbers. Also, take into consideration the space needed to store these supplies and make sure that they are close by and accessible.

5. Home office decor

Whether you're a minimalist or prefer to be surrounded by mountains of clutter, there are numerous home office decor ideas to take your office from functional to fabulous. After you have chosen your dedicated space and tended to all the functional elements in your office it's time to have some fun with your home office decor. From the health benefits of plants to the illusions of space that a mirror can create, there are numerous ways to make your space the perfect place for you to work. Personalizing your home office decor ideas will help you enjoy the time spent in your office which will only increase your productivity.

As we return to a more normal work environment, Statistics Canada has reported that the peak of 40% of workers has fallen back to around 20% but this is still much higher than the 4% that was reported in 2016. As technology improves and management has seen the productivity gains that can be realized from a shift to more workers working from home or an increase in a hybrid arrangement will only make the home office more essential in the coming years. Some industries report that more than 80% of their workers could conceivably work the majority of their hours out of office. Working from home is here to stay, so investing in a dedicated workspace in your home may one day, in the very near future become, be the rule, not the exception.


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