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Design a Home-Office Space That Promotes Health and Productivity

Coronavirus has disrupted the global economy for nearly a year now. And there’s still no end in sight for lockdowns and quarantines. 

Business professionals and gig workers are helping employers compete in a tough recession by being efficient working from home (WFH). Workers are foregoing long commutes, office gossip and unnecessary meetings. According to a May 2020 McKinsey survey, 41% of respondents said they’re more productive working from home while 80% said they enjoy it. 

Who wouldn’t? As long as you meet deadlines, people should be given flexibility on how best to deliver milestones. Americans should also focus on what they control: by being as productive and safe as they can be while authorities and health professionals distribute limited vaccines. 

Here’s how workers can create home-based workstations that boost productivity and promote well-being.

Standing Desks

Companies are reconfiguring business processes, team responsibilities, communication protocols, location of remote workers, and home-office designs to adapt to the new normal. Employees shouldn’t ignore rearranging sections of a house to accommodate 40- or 50-hour weeks, video conferences and daily meal takeouts.

Standing desks are especially useful for preventing a sedentary lifestyle, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s the No. 1 cause of death globally, claiming nearly nine million lives each year. 

According to research firm Glimpse, standing desks saw a 78% increase in U.S. demand since Covid. It forces you to be physically active even while typing and reading emails on a computer. It can be paired with a high stool or chair for quick breaks. But the key is to avoid a sitting posture for the entire day. By standing for a few hours, you can burn calories and increase the body’s metabolism.

According to a 2020 study by researchandmarkets.com, there’s rising demand worldwide for ergonomic furniture. North America represented 40% of total market revenue in 2019. There’s also a growing preference for treadmill desks.

Ergonomic Chairs

Similarly, an ergonomic office chair can prevent back and neck pain in order to protect one from injury, as well as foster well-being. Chairs that provide lumbar back support can improve the user’s upright posture. 

Equipment suppliers are innovating new ways to optimize body support based on the latest research. The Kinn Chair by California-based Autonomous.ai is the company’s most popular product and features a special fishbone design for custom spine support. This particular chair uses thermoplastic materials for elasticity, softness and versatility in addition to lumbar support for the back.

As mentioned above, one should be careful of being inactive in one’s seat. It’s helpful to conduct stretching a few times throughout the workday to increase blood circulation, loosen up muscles, and maintain motion in the joints. A chair’s height should also be adjusted to place the top of a computer monitor at eye level.

Block Out Distractions

Few households have been intentionally designed for WFH purposes. While a traditional office consists of cubicles and corner offices, these do actually help to block out the noise and help one to concentrate on the tasks at hand. After all, there’s only so many hours during a day.

Home-based work spaces can boost productivity by limiting access to interruptions like television, pets and chatty neighbors and relatives. A workstation can be set up in a quiet room which helps greatly when video-conferencing with coworkers or customers. If a separate room is not possible, you can use wall separator panels and/or room dividers for more privacy during business hours. 

Finally, consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones to prevent dozens of disturbances throughout the workday from telemarketers, family members, pizza delivery and pets.

Distractions are costly. How prepared are you in working effectively from a telecommute location?

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