To do your best work as a remote worker, you need three things: clear goals, time to focus, and, most importantly, a distraction-free workspace in your own house. The last two are dependent on the quality of the workspace including the office furniture, the home office decor and interior design. Recent events have led to more people working from home due to social distancing and they’re now confronted with such new challenges.
Now, you don’t have to be an exquisite home designer or interior architect to know how to create a home-based workspace that will allow you to focus and work on the most important day to day tasks while being eco-friendly and contributing to the recovery of this planet.
Eco-Friendly And Efficient Home Office Ideas
Locating the workspace right
Choosing a space to set up your home office is the most essential aspect. As you will be spending hours day after day here, the home office workspace should match your work expectations and needs. Choose a space that can be separated from home life, allows natural light and air, is fairly spacious to set up basic office equipment and storage, and can be used to unwind. Such a space will help you associate it with work, motivate you, and it’ll be easier for you to slide into a focused mindset.
Choosing the best lighting
If your chosen workspace has windows that allow natural sunlight to seep in, then use natural lighting as much as possible during the daytime. Natural sunlight has a lot of health benefits like being a good source of Vitamin D, improves the quality of sleep, and also increases productivity. Natural lighting also reduces electricity bills and energy consumption. Conserve power as much as possible by using natural light and airflow.
When the day transitions, or in case you can’t make optimum use of natural lighting, make sure your workspace is well lit, so you don’t strain your eyes.
To light up the room, you can use full-spectrum bulbs that are energy savers and imitate daylight. Or, if you want to set up something more dedicated on the desk, opt for an energy-efficient LED desk light lamp.
Setting up an Office Desk
Investing in a good office desk is crucial as this will be your main work habitat. Hence, a standing desk will make an apt choice, especially if you enjoy being active. Standing desks are shown to increase productivity, and there are a lot of additional health benefits.
You could be conducting team reviews, or briefing the team while standing or you be seated while doing tasks that need critical thinking. Buy a programmable desk that can be adjusted for optimal height while sitting or standing. Pick one that uses sustainable and environmentally friendly materials like bamboo for example.
Find a Comfortable Chair
You need to be comfortable while sitting down and working. A good quality seat will help you keep the right posture. An adjustable ergonomically-designed desk chair is recommended so you can adjust the seat’s height as per your need. Again, buy one that is made from recycled raw materials to reduce your carbon footprint.
Organise your Storage
Visual clutter will take up space in your mind, even if you don’t think it does. By removing and organising the clutter, it’ll be easier for you to focus and find the supplies that you need faster.
To keep your desk free from clutter, you will need a storage unit. Use vertical storage whenever possible, to have easy access to everything you may need while working. The vertical storage method reduces the difficulty in getting what you need by creating as little resistance as possible between you and the supplies. You should also have all your necessities within arm’s reach near your desk.
Now that the basic home office setup is ready, you should also have a decompression corner where you can take breaks between work and unwind. Put out a couch where you can take a break, have a coffee. Choose an eco-friendly rug that is made from natural fiber such as wool or jute to separate the area. You can also place a few indoor plants to add warmth to the workspace. This corner will help you collect your thoughts and gain mental clarity in between work.
Using online productivity tools helps you stay on top of your work and provides a good overview of all the activities. They also help the teams stay connected, share updates, documents, and track progress. You can use online communication tools to huddle team members to keep them on the same page. Online tools reduce the use of paper and its wastage. You can also use a whiteboard to list down goals and a to-do lists.
90-Minute Focus Sprint
Break up your day into 90-minute focus sprints of uninterrupted work. During that time, set a sprint goal and block yourself from all distractions. Close the door, turn off notifications and emails, and set a timer for 90 minutes of deep work.
Also, keep dedicated work hours, avoid extending the hours to maintain the same work-life balance as you would while working from an office. Eliminate any distractions that may make you lose focus. While it is wonderful to work from home, you need to be disciplined to remain efficient. Stay away from the kitchen while you can, don’t let people come in and out of your office – establish rules that work for you.
Take control of the noise that’s in your home office space. If you prefer silence, but there’s a lot of noise, you can use noise-canceling earbuds. But if you prefer a little sound while working, you can create your music playlist on Spotify, or you might prefer white noise, which you can get from sites like Coffitivity for the sounds of a café, or Noisli for background noise that improves focus and productivity.
Last, but not least is your physical and mental health on the menu. It is difficult to focus when you are dehydrated. Keep an eco-friendly non-disposable flask of water close by. During breaks, you may prefer a beverage like tea or coffee to get through the day.
If you are a tea lover, then use loose organic tea leaves, as tea bags are made of plastic. Similarly, with coffee, you can buy locally grown coffee beans, grind, and manually brew the coffee. You can use a reusable teacup, or a coffee mug to avoid using disposable single-use cups. Used tea leaves and coffee grounds can also be reused as fertilizer for your garden.
Create the home office of your dreams while saving the planet
Hopefully, these different ways of making your home office space eco-friendly, productive, and efficient have inspired you and you’re able to redesign it so it works in your favour. Enjoy the benefits of your home office such as cutting down on commute time, leaving you with more hours at hand, reduced travel cost and air pollution. You can utilize this time to exercise, read or pick up a hobby you love. You should also be able to cut down your cost at home if you go for greener options in your household.