As many of us are now stuck working at home, we’ve set up home offices to try to get some semblance of structure to our workday. This separation of work and home life can get exhausting, not just in terms of time but also space. By putting up an area dedicated to just work, you can have work-life balance even when circumstances blur the line.
Invest in an Ergonomic Chair
This isn’t just aesthetic but extremely practical advice. If you’re going to spend all way working from home, you might as well get comfortable. According to a 2006 study that tried to establish a link between sitting and occupational lower back pain, sitting for prolonged periods isn’t in itself a cause of back pain or sciatica. Combined with other risk factors like awkward posture, sitting can contribute to it.
A correctly sized ergonomic chair will not only give you adequate back support (look for a backrest that makes your spine arch slightly) but also protect you from carpal tunnel (based on the position of your elbows on the armrests) and neck pain (based on your elevation).
Also, the home office chair tends to be a focal point in any home setup because of its central location. So investing in a piece that provides form and function will go a long way in creating a home office that can maximize your productivity and comfort. Check this list for possible inspiration.
As mentioned earlier, the sedentary nature of office work can take its toll on your health, especially when it’s harder to go outside for some exercise. Keep yourself moving by getting a height-adjustable desk that can convert into a standing desk.
The jury is still out on whether standing desks can help you lose weight or reduce the pain of sitting all day. But standing does mean that your body has more opportunities to move around while sitting. Not moving is linked to lower back pain. Research says that standing while working provides neurocognitive improvement. It can enhance your memory, mental flexibility, and self-control.
Make a Relaxation Wall
Some extremely productive people swear by the Pomodoro Method, a work rhythm and time management philosophy characterized by a 25-minute burst of work, followed by 5 minutes of rest. Whether you structure your work schedule around highly specific increments or not, it is a good idea to take lots of short breaks. Doing so will let you pace yourself and keep your mind fresh and focused.
Even just looking away from your screen for a while helps to refocus your thoughts. Switching over to social media or video streaming doesn’t count as rest, only as distractions. Take this one step further by creating a place to look at instead.
It could be a window if you’re lucky to have a good view or simply a side of the office expressly made to put you at ease by letting your eye wander. Put up paintings or old photographs that help you switch off for a bit.
Pinterest is a great source of ideas. Purchase a picture you like online, get it printed, and ask a picture-framing service to mount it. As long as it’s something that will keep your eyes off your screen for some time, it will help you last longer at work.
While working from home does have challenges, all it takes to really get into a productive mindset is a proper, conducive environment. With well-chosen decor and home pieces, you’ll take part in what could very well be the future of work, where technology allows us to be productive whenever and wherever.