Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Working from home is clearly here to stay. While we don’t know exactly how much of the world will go back to a normal work environment, there’s clearly been a trend of a hybrid model of balancing working in the office and working at home among many businesses and organizations.
We’ve put together a list of essential, yet simple upgrades you can take to help you optimize your home office set up for productivity and efficiency.
1. Ergonomic Chair
Do not underestimate the power of a comfortable office chair.
This is one of the main things that most people opt out of when it comes to their home office setup; instead, people choose to work on a dining chair or a couch while they work for 8 hours a day. While it may sound unnecessary to buy an office chair when you have other perfectly good chairs at home, it can do wonders for your focus and your physical well-being.
Researchers from Upjohn Institute for Employment Research released an ergonomic study that showed employees who were given an ergonomic chair reported fewer negative symptoms throughout the day and a total increase in productivity of 17.7%. Furthermore, a report from the Institute of Employment Studies found that over 50% of people working from home report suffering from frequent back and neck pains.
Consider a good ergonomic chair as an investment rather than just a regular purchase. Ergonomic chairs may be intimidating as they are heavily customizable, but check this guide on what to look for when you purchase your first ergonomic office chair.
2. Standing desk / Height-adjustable desks
Now, even if you have a nice ergonomic chair that will save your neck and back from pain, it’s still good to move around and be dynamic throughout your work day. Standing desks have been exploding in popularity for that reason.
While it doesn’t significantly help you with weight loss based on this study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, alternating between sitting and standing can help with muscle tension and your overall physical posture. It helps wake your body up, improve your circulation, and make you more alert.
It is important to remember that sitting or standing is not inherently worse than the other, it’s immobility. So having the flexibility to sit comfortably in an ergonomic chair and standing throughout the day (and incorporating walk breaks), is the key to minimizing postural and physical pain or discomfort.
Check out our commercial-grade standing desks here.
3. Ergonomic Accessories
The ergonomic chair and the standing desk really are the bulk of your work-from-home essentials. That said, these accessories can still supplement your setup and provide complementary benefits:
Anti-fatigue mat - helps reduce stress on your feet by absorbing the shock and providing more cushion
Monitor arms and stands - you may be able to adjust your desk already, but having monitor arms or stands even offer more flexibility and customization to your office setup and help reduce pain from neck tilting
Ergonomic mouse and keyboard - the curves and the designs of new ergonomic mice and keyboards may seem inconsequential, but it helps mitigate repetitive strain injury and or carpal tunnel syndrome according to the UK’s National Health Service.
This is highly dependent on the nature of your work and work style and may not 100% work for everyone. Music is a wonderful tool that can help you relax, zone-in and find your flow. The US National Institute of Health released a study that has shown how music improves cognitive performance and work productivity. Additionally, a study from the University of Miami highlighted the improvement in speed and quality of work when listening to music. So getting some quality Bluetooth speakers could be a gamechanger for some people. That said, music can be distracting if you don’t know how to tap into its power (pro tip: it’s all about setting up a strategy around your playlist).
Another way to brighten up your work environment is through house plants; though, they are more than just for decorations - they actually provide some health benefits too! They filter the air around you so you get fresher, crisper air and they have shown to help relieve some stress as well. A study done by the University of Exeter in the UK has gone further and actually quantified that plants increase productivity by 15%.
If you don’t have a green thumb like most people, check out this ultimate guide on office and indoor plants.
These items above are just some ideas to help you get the ball rolling when it comes to your work environment. At Movado Interiors, we’re here to help you optimize your workspace. We carry commercial-grade office furniture to help fit your new office space for your employees or your home office. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com or click the link below for a consultation or should you have any questions.