Over the past year, many professionals within business, management, and analytics – and, indeed, across many other sectors, too – have found themselves working from home on a more regular basis. This has led to a huge shift in the ways in which staff are able to communicate and interact with one another, in addition to affecting the very nature of their work.
Inquiring about an aspect of a document you’re uncertain about, querying decisions, and monitoring the effectiveness of staff have all been rendered much more difficult, while working from home has become the norm.
This new way of working limits human-to-human interaction, making it difficult to observe and question exemplary staff to help your own development, and making feedback a much lengthier process. However, as remote working seems to be becoming the norm in large corporations such as Spotify and BP – at least for part of the working week – it makes sense to start considering the ways in which working from home can help aid your development.
In this article, we discuss office set-ups and designs that are conducive to focused work patterns and that can help enhance your professional development even while you’re not sat in the office.
Finding the Perfect Spot
Many workers underestimate the benefits of a designated space within the home that is entirely dedicated to the production of work. The key is identifying a space within your home that has a surface you can work at (preferably a desk or a table), lots of natural light, is not affected by noise as much as other areas of the house, and that has all the equipment you will need. Ideally, the room you choose requires a door that you can close, to avoid interruptions from pets or children when on conference calls, and block out any distracting noises throughout the day.
A Comfortable Space
While you obviously would prefer to avoid creating a space that is too comfortable and disrupts your working frame of mind, you also need an area that doesn’t distract you from your focus – heightened feelings of discomfort can prevent you from concentrating as effectively as you would otherwise.
A key element of this is the maintenance of the room temperature. Too cold, and your digits will stiffen and your brain will work slower, slowing your progress down and inhibiting your thinking and problem-solving skills; too hot, and you’ll become lethargic and spend a vast proportion of your time trying to cool yourself down. Investing in a variable heating center for your home office could make all the difference! Refurbished PTACs from ptac4less.com/ are perfect for room renovations or additions. They allow you to control the temperature of your working space to make it optimal for you.
Additionally, investing in ergonomically designed seating will do wonders for your posture, enabling you to sit in an upright position comfortably and type at the same time, while cushioning your lower back. Combined with a raised, padded mousepad and a screen that can be adjusted for your comfort, this will allow you to focus entirely on your work output.
An often-underestimated aspect of a home office is the requirement for calm. Busy rooms with lots of visual and auditory distractions can cause sensory overload and make it more difficult to focus on your work. A room painted in neutral colors is preferable, as busy patterns and bright, popping colors again can disrupt your thinking process and add to feelings of stress. Instead, it would be beneficial to invest in calming artwork, depicting soft seaside or country scenes, or paintings with soft blues and greens. This also means that you have a professional-looking space for those inevitable Zoom meetings and conferences!
If you are the type of person that benefits from music when working, curating a playlist of instrumental music and themes is generally best. Studies have demonstrated in the past that classical music is particularly conducive to focus and concentration.
Keeping plants and fish has also been suggested as a way of invoking calm in a space; creating your own aquarium (well-researched, of course) would not only add to a relaxing yet focused atmosphere, but they also provide a calming visual that you can use to stimulate ideas and configure solutions.
Many believe that working from home has negatively impacted the professional development of staff, particularly those transferring from other sectors or who are just starting out in their career. However, there are ways of designing your home office set up in such a way that you are not only able to complete your work effectively, but that enables you to flourish.
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