Optimizing your home workspace for maximum productivity

November 17, 2020 | By: Arch. Bibiano A. Luzande Jr. FUAP (as published in The Manila Times last November 17, 2020)

THE coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has taught me to find ways to avoid excessive office rentals and transportation expenses. So, I gave up my office and set up my work station at home — at the verandah and the entertainment room. After some quick renovations to turn the space into a cozy work place, voila, instant solution.

Like me, some professionals now also have the option to work from home. No more crazy traffic to beat, no more transportation expenses, less hassles, and working from home sure has some perks. As long as you have a space that you can designate as your home office, you’re good to go.

Before you begin

The first step is to choose a room that you can transform into your office. When you designate an area as your office space, carefully assess whether it could provide enough room for movement as you perform normal office routines. Any corner in your home that is a low-traffic area is perfect so you can concentrate on your task.

Home office setup essentials

Some of the furniture pieces and fixtures you need for your home office can be repurposed from things that you already have. Natural light is ideal. A well-lit home office contributes to A-level performance of tasks and boosts productivity. If this is not possible, get some bulbs that provide full-spectrum lighting. They give off balanced temperature and they offer the same benefits that you get from natural daylight.

By choosing an ergonomically-designed office chair, you are giving yourself the edge as it supports proper posture and allows you to sit in a balanced position.

Try making your home office comfortable by adding a sofa. This helps if you need a short break from your desk and help you regain your focus and get you back on track.

Ample workspace

Your workspace affects much of your productivity. For optimum efficiency, your desk should have a large empty area so you can work comfortably. A messy workspace slows you down and causes undue stress. Consider buying a larger desk if your workspace is too crowded or organize your things more efficiently.

Add greenery

A sprinkling of greenery in the office adds color to the surrounding. Employees are 15 percent more productive when their workplaces have houseplants. Another bonus aside from beautifying the work station is plants also absorb indoor pollutants and give off oxygen. No artificial plants, please.

For your computer needs

Having a printer/scanner in your home office allows you to print/scan materials on demand.

A multifunction printer is a great idea. Make sure you have high-speed internet connection.

Poor access to internet slows down productivity and gives opportunity for distractions.

Laptops, desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones form a network and they all need internet connection. Your network router directs incoming and outgoing internet traffic on that network in the fastest and most efficient way.

Power surges are inevitable and unnoticeable. They are considered to be the most destructive kind of electrical power disturbance. For this, invest in a surge protector.

Without it, power surges can slowly damage your equipment and compromise the integrity of your computer and its components.

Because power interruptions can occur anytime, keep your work safe by having an Uninterruptible Power Supply unit in your home office as backup power saves the day.

Reliable telephone service

When you want reliable communication system crucial to your business, the telephone is the cheapest alternative. No need to travel long distances just to clear matters with partners and clients. Having a reliable phone service is important if you want clients to reach you anytime.

Paper shredder

Why worry about the privacy and security of your business? All you need is a good paper shredder to get rid of confidential materials. You may throw the shreds in your compost heap or recycle them as an alternative to bubble wrap when you ship out packages as an economical and environment-friendly solution.

And finally, set boundaries

Setting boundaries can be the ultimate and most important thing to have in a home office. Just because your home office allows you to work at your own pace, it does not mean you can put your guard down. If you are not mindful, your output and efficiency could suffer as you get distracted. Thus, you need to set boundaries. Inform your family members about your working hours. Your ability to work efficiently throughout the day depends on those boundaries.

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