There’s no doubt that the pandemic has normalised remote-work culture around the world, including Singapore. From video conference calls to collaboration tools, remote teams across multiple sectors have had to adapt to thrive.
As work from home (WFH) set-ups continue to be the default arrangement in Singapore to curb the spread of COVID-19, many remote employees have been exploring different ways to make their spaces “business as usual”. In fact, even the layouts of some new property launches these days seem to have incorporated pockets of space usable for this purpose too. An example is the newly launched Clavon Condominium in Clementi which featured flexible spaces that can be used as a workspace and living space.
Believe it or not, your surroundings affect your productivity. Subtle environmental factors not only have the ability to improve your efficiency, but also boost your mood. These include everything from lighting, noise, to even colour. If you’re having trouble being productive while working from home, making a few changes to your physical space may do just the trick.
Here are five tips to boost productivity in your home office space!
1. Designate a space
While it may seem like a simple task, finding a designated area in your home for your work is the first step.
Ideally, the best option would be a spare room that can give you the privacy you need from the rest of the household.
But if that’s not an option for you, finding a corner in your room or creating a workstation in your dining room or kitchen can be sufficient.
Wherever you decide to set up, ensure that it allows for privacy to make calls without getting in the way of other people in your house. Designating a space allows you to set boundaries and draw the line between work, play and rest more efficiently.
2. Think ergonomically
Investing in home office ergonomics can do wonders for your productivity, as well as your physical health. If you have to be seated at your desk for extended periods of time in a day, you may want to invest in equipment and furniture that will give you the most physical comfort and support. Take care of yourself and prevent WFH-related aches and pains.
Physiotherapist and ergonomics expert Jordan McCreary said investing in the basics, such as an adjustable height desk and chair, is a good place to start. Afterall, when your physical health is in bad shape, it is bound to affect your productivity.
Something as simple as an external keyboard can also help support your wrists and position your upper body properly. Other ergonomic equipment to consider are laptop risers or stands and an external mouse.
3. Let there be light
Lighting can have an important impact on your mood throughout the day. Multiple studies have suggested that while lighting alone is unlikely to have the strongest impact on performance, it is one of the factors that contribute to healthy work environments that promote employee productivity and engagement.
The best kind of lighting one can have in their office is natural light. Along with natural views, research has shown that light helps reduce stress, improve mood, and increase concentration as well.
For those who work graveyard shifts, adding artificial lighting that mimics natural light can also create the same effect. Instead of overhead lighting, choose floor or customisable lamps so you can modify their position to reduce glare on your computer screen.
4. Bring in some green
The benefits of indoor plants go beyond just aesthetics. If you’re familiar with biophilic design, you’ll know that greenery in one’s working environment brings out a plethora of benefits for individuals.
Apart from breathing life into a room, the mere presence of plants improves air quality and increases the psychological value of being in a pleasant environment. This, in turn, can reduce stress and improve cognitive function to get your creative juices flowing.
Even with constrained space, you can opt for hanging planters or a green wall to make use of vertical space in a room. If you don’t have a green thumb, investing in low-maintenance plants such as succulents or air plants might just do the trick.
5. Keep your desk organised
Did you know that the way you organise your desk can also affect your productivity? When you organise your space, you also organise your workflow.
Research has shown that cluttered spaces can have detrimental effects on our ability to perform. And we aren’t just talking about lost information or misplaced documents here: studies have shown that clutter increases stress and decreases productivity.
To reduce visual clutter, start small by utilising storage units for your wires, investing in a desktop organiser for all office supplies and keeping unnecessary items stashed away.
It seems that perfecting your WFH situation and finding out what works best for you are now part and parcel of the remote work reality. If you need expert guidance, let Ohmyhome’s interior designers help you. Call 6886 9009 today to get started!
Frequently asked questions on a WFH set-up
What does WFH mean?
WFH is the acronym for “work from home”, which describes work being done remotely, instead of at an office. Many organisations are in default WFH set-ups to curb the spread of COVID-19.
What do I need for a WFH set-up?
The most basic things you need are a designated workspace at home where you can have privacy, a desk that can hold all your equipment and a comfortable chair to sit in for long hours.
How can I improve my WFH set-up?
Invest in ergonomic equipment, like adjustable desks, chairs and laptop stands; or an external keyboard and mouse. Get customisable lamps to reduce the glare on your computer screen, decorate your office with plants and keep your desk organised.
Are people still working from home in Singapore?
At the time of writing, work from home (WFH) set-ups are the default arrangement in Singapore as per the government’s safe management measures.
Contributed by Hannah Grey