Making improvements to your home office is about more than just improving its style—it’s also about boosting productivity. This is the place where you’ll work 40 hours (or more) each week, and the environment that will either enable or stymie your long-term goals.
You owe it to yourself (and to anyone you share the office with) to invest in the right features to improve your productivity. The question is, which improvements are most important?
How to Improve Your Office for Productivity
These are some of the best changes you can make to your office if productivity is your bottom-line goal:
- Ergonomic furniture. One of the best purchases you can make for your home office is ergonomic furniture. These pieces of furniture are specifically designed to make you more comfortable during the workday, and prevent the injuries that can result from chronic poor posture or long-term sitting. A good chair and a good desk, which support better posture, can make a world of difference in your ongoing productivity, and simultaneously limit the injuries you might otherwise face. Just make sure you buy ergonomic furniture from a reputable brand, like BTOD, which is rated at 4.5/5.0 stars by Trustpilot.
- Spacious desk room. Even a little extra desk room can improve your productivity, even if you don’t find yourself using it very often. These days, most people working remotely heavily rely on digital interfaces to do their work—but for the bit of handwriting and physical planning you do, it’s important to have an adequate amount of space. Having an open, clear desk can also make you feel more at peace and more in control, giving you a boost in productivity throughout the day.
- Houseplants. Plants are shown to have a positive effect on productivity (and mood as well), even if they’re small. Even better, it doesn’t particularly matter what kinds of plants you purchase; as long as they’re green and you like them, they’ll have a positive effect on you. Include a handful of small houseplants around your home office, and make sure they’re easily visible in your periphery while you’re working. You might be surprised at what a difference they can make.
- Climate controls. There are competing schools of thought for what makes for a “perfect” office environment, but one thing is certain; everyone has a slightly different preference. Some people prefer a warmer environment, so they never have to worry about shivering. Others prefer a cooler environment, preventing them from profusely sweating throughout the day. Some prefer a tightly controlled, crisp atmosphere, while others would prefer the organic nature of natural air. If you want to improve your productivity, you’ll need to install better climate controls, like fans, air conditioners, or space heaters, to make sure you remain in full control of your atmosphere.
- Positive distractions. Most professionals talk about distractions as if they were an exclusively bad thing. And to be sure, getting distracted when you’re trying to focus on a project can be debilitating. But having a positive distraction in your office nearby can help you relieve stress and prevent you from getting overwhelmed by work. For example, you might keep an interactive toy on your desk that you can fiddle with between assignments.
- Art and inspiration. It’s also a good idea to include visual forms of inspiration in your home office. For most people, the best option here is hanging abstract or otherwise stimulating art. Taking a moment away from your work to stare at these visuals can instantly relax you, and help you think more creatively as well.
- Audio equipment. Under the right circumstances, music will boost your productivity—as long as it’s not too loud, too soft, too lyrical, or in a genre you don’t like. But if you want to get the most out of your music throughout the day, you’ll want to invest in high-quality audio equipment.
Beyond the Home Office
Improving your home office can make it more conducive to productive work, but there’s a limit to how much a single location can do for you. Over time, even the best-outfitted home office can become stale or hinder your productivity. That’s why it’s important to work in a variety of different locations, including cafes, coworking spaces, or even just outside on your front porch. You can also simply rearrange your furniture to give yourself a new(ish) environment in your home office space.
Though some of the items on this list can get pricey, you can still upgrade your home office modestly with just a few hundred dollars. And if you spend any amount of time in your home office working, the investment will be worth it.