What kills our effectiveness? Home office investigated.
‘Be careful what you wish for’ they say... Currently, the number of people working remotely is large, and in addition, it is continuously growing. For many of us, this is the only possibility to work during involuntary isolation. Anyone who has experienced Home Office work knows that it essentially requires a huge amount of self-discipline. However, no matter how hard we try and how positive our attitude is, we still don’t often achieve the same efficiency as in the office. What’s the problem?
Efficiency and work space
Most importantly, if you want to enjoy the comfort of working from home and plan to stay in bed or work on a sofa, it’s a typical mistake you can make. Not only does that contribute to the loss of motivation, but you’re also at risk for back pain. In order to be able to concentrate at home as well as you did in the office, you need to arrange your work space in a sensible way. In the first place, let's minimize the number of distractions. TV in the background or the radio on don't do any good. It would be best to arrange some space exclusively for work. A dining room table is the last resort. If possible, arrange a separate space for a desk. The perfect place for a desk is the one with access to plenty of natural light and fresh air, so a place near a window is highly desirable.
Home office center-piece
The desk itself plays a huge role. The height of the top, which we normally take for granted, may prove uncomfortable. We are of different height therefore, the most common 74-cm top constitutes only the average value for the whole society. The possibility to adjust the height of the worktop can significantly increase the comfort of our work, especially if we aren’t of the average height. Nonetheless, it is not the only advantage of an adjustable top. Spending a few hours in a sitting position causes an enormous strain on the spine. The possibility to lift the top to the height needed for work in a standing position is a true luxury.
Change your working position!
Motivation is inseparable from well-being, which then affects our health. No need to commute or move around the office means that we move less than usual. Our only physical activity for 8 hours is often the way to the kitchen to grab a coffee. If we also unwind in front of a screen after work, we may end up spending up to 12 hours a day in the sitting position, whereas sitting for too long results in muscle cramps and an increased risk of straining or even tearing them. Besides, the lack of physical activity can be blamed for excessive fatigue as reducing the stimulation of body circulatory system slows down the heartbeat. Let's remember, therefore, to take frequent breaks.
Just the action of changing the position of the body has a beneficial effect on us - we shift our body strain and thus other parts of our body can rest. It is recommended to stand up at least every hour. Ideally, using a desk with an adjustable table top, it’s best to work in 45-15 sessions, where after 45 minutes of sitting, we work in a standing position for 15 minutes. Our efficiency boosts by 10-20% * when standing, so it isn’t only our health that can benefit from it. Research* shows that the employees who use desks with adjustable heights are more focused by 71%, more productive by 66%, and less stressed by 33%.
Our response to the needs of home office work are desks from Wariant collection. You can choose models with a fixed top height and with electric and pneumatic height adjustment. We can customize the chosen model so that the desk has high partitions, as well as side partition screens that provide a lot of privacy and a sense of intimacy. The trendy range of colors of both the frame and the upholstered elements will allow the desk to become an aesthetically attractive element in your home space. Wariant is a collection of mobile furniture thanks to which we can change the way a space is arranged.
For those of us who treasure every square meter, a compact desk with a folding top is the ideal option. After finishing work, the home office is hidden and the room regains its former functionality. Opty stationary desks will appeal to traditionalists even more. Their simple and minimalist form will work in any interior while and its good workmanship will allow you to enjoy using it for years.
Choosing the right chair seems to be obvious while arranging a home office. Nevertheless, it is observed that the price is often the main criterion when making the purchase. Although it’s understandable, the purchase may quickly disappoint us as when we buy a chair for work, we hope that it will allow us to work for many hours in comfort. Unfortunately, the cheapest chairs on the market often don't have anything to do with it. So, let's take a little more time to choose the proper office chair, bearing in mind the many hours we spend sitting on it while working. It will definitely pay off.
We should also remember about the right posture while sitting. Adjust the height of your chair so that your wrists rest on the top and your elbows on the side of your body form the letter L. Your feet should lie flat on the floor and the top of the screen should be at eye level. The distance between the face and the screen varies depending on the size of the monitor, but it is assumed to be between 40 and 80 cm.
Self-reliance not loneliness
Last but not least, to remain effective, we should also take care of our relationships with other people. It turns out that organizing your work remotely and fulfilling most professional duties online isn't an issue for many of us. What employees miss the most while having a home office, however, is the daily socializing over coffee or lunch. While working from home, unlike in the office, we don't waste time chatting on private matters, and thus, we also don’t develop connections with one another. Due to the lack of direct contact with co-workers, we can experience a decline in mood and motivation. Such a situation can lead to worsening the quality of teamwork and stirring up communication problems.
So, don’t settle for purely professional calls and e-mails. Let's exchange experiences and stay in touch. Now, as never before, team-building meetings have become particularly relevant, even if they need to be moved to online reality. An evening with wine is still possible. You can also organize an interdepartmental, online tournament with board games since a bit of rivalry is always a good idea. Home office has multiple benefits, but as you can see, it is not flawless. If working from home is a new experience for us, let's treat it as a project which needs to be done. Let's prepare ourselves properly, be consistent, and enjoy the results of our work.
* A. Grunseit, J. Chau, H. van der Ploeg, A. Bauman: ‘“Thinking on your feet”: