In 2017, the New York Times and a Gallup poll reported that the number of people who work from home full-time rose from 24% to 31% since 2012.
This combined with the rise of co-working spaces like WeWork (which is now the second largest private office tenant in Manhattan), paints an interesting picture of the future. Many of us will not be tied to 9-5 hours, or location-specific offices; instead we will work from home (or abroad) and remain connected via tools like Slack and Zoom.
While working from home might seem like the dream, it’s easy to become unproductive, when surrounded by your bed, tv, and total freedom to work at your own pace. Most people who work from home swear by certain items to make their time as productive as possible—here are a few gadgets and expert tips to make sure you get the most of your home office experience.
We all have a morning ritual that helps us go from groggy to ready for the day. At most workplaces that involves walking to the kitchen and pouring yourself a good cup of Joe (or buying one on the way in). If you are working from home you should also know what rituals trigger you to enter into work mode, and if coffee is one of them, I highly recommend checking out Aeropress. Aeropress acts like a French press, making high-quality coffee, but is super easy to clean. The 3-5 minutes of brew time are a nice part of the wake up process.
If you’re not a coffee person than check out this tea machine, for a lower caffeine alternative.
As well become overworked, and over-teched, the mindfulness space is blowing up. While apps like Headspace try to use technology to introduce people to ways to destress from technology (fighting fire with fire), one of my favorite products is this super simple journal from IntelligentChange. Many of the mindfulness tactics in the journal are backed by science to improve your focus and impact throughout the day.
While most offices provide high-quality chairs for their employees, the same is not always true for your home office. While buying an ergonomic chair is a fantastic start, I recommend exploring the benefits of standing while working. Standing isn’t for everyone (some find it distracting), but there are a bunch of low-cost ways to build a simple standing desk and see if it works for you. The benefits for your health and back are well documented.
Another challenge that exists both at your home office and at work, is the issue of overusing screens. Nature.com, NPR, and many other major publications have reported recently that there has been a boom of nearsightedness in the last decade, which is expected to continue with future generations, caused by how many screens we all look at daily.
There are a few tools to help you combat this at your new home office. First, is to buy either UV blocking contacts or blue blocking glasses. These reduce negative UV lights emitted by screens. Second, is to play with apps like f.lux, and Protect Your Vision, one of which dims the blue light from your computer and the other which reminds you regularly to take a break from your screen staring.
Plants offer work space benefits that no technology can replace. These include cleaner air, as well as a reminder of the outdoors, which is scientifically proven to produce calm, in our body and mind.
In addition to plants, you should consider adding candles, air purifiers and other fragrances to your home workspace. While items like candles are typically not allowed in a large work environment (because your favorite smell might not be your neighbors) when you work from home you can customize your space to what works for you, so don’t hold back.
Another major distractor when working at home is a cluttered desk (or room). If you are starting to spend more time working from home, we highly recommend you start with a full reboot—clean the entire room and workspace and get rid of anything that isn’t totally necessary.
Then, take care of the small details. One of the simples ways to get your workspace cleaner is to label your cords (so you know what you are unplugging) and to buy a small package of cable wraps (I prefer the Velcro ones), to keep all your extra cords orderly.
by Insider Envy Staff