Are you looking to build the ultimate work-from-home office, or just improve your productivity in your workspace? If you’re planning to give your workplace the pull-through it deserves, here are some practical ways to improve workflow and maximise efficiency, so you can get more done with less.
Get your work environment right
Setting up your workspace so you get sun throughout the day can do wonders for keeping up those energy levels, especially in the post-lunch home stretch. If the monitor’s height is physically adjustable, making sure it's at a comfortable height can prevent neck pain. Try to avoid sun glare on the monitor though - squinting is damaging for your eyes and can make you lose focus. Most people won’t make the effort to adjust the white balance on their monitors, but it can make such a difference for your eyes during long work stints. Most monitors can be adjusted in a few seconds using the on-board controls.
Nail your routine
It can be tempting to eat, surf your socials or chat to friends from your WFH desk, but it's something to avoid if you want to maximise productivity in your home office. Establishing clear boundaries between your work and personal life can reduce the risk of distraction, and keeping it strictly work keeps the mind trained on the task at hand. One great way is to establish regular meal and rest breaks throughout the day.
Own the right gear
Great work starts with good equipment! From ergonomic mice and keyboards, to desks and chairs, finding a comfortable setup that works for you during the long working hours can keep you focused, in-tune and productive.
Standing desks are currently a popular way of improving posture, but does that mean you should get one? Put simply, if you don’t like being confined to a desk and chair, then yes. They’re great for posture and improve circulation and blood flow. If you’re going to buy a standing desk, make sure it's sturdy and by a reputable brand - you don’t want it collapsing on you. Standing desks like this Loctek can hold up to 100kg!
Rifling through the box of spare keyboards, old mice and crummy headsets at work for equipment isn’t the best idea if you want to put out your best work. Ergonomic computer equipment makes a world of difference in those long stints at the desk, and does wonders when it comes to lengthy product reports or that horde of emails waiting to be cleared from your inbox.
When it comes to finding the ergonomic keyboard that’s right for you, comfort, shape and price are the key factors. I recommend the Logitech MX Key Advanced or the Microsoft Ergonomic Sculpt.
The MX Keymaster isn’t cheap, but is the best money can buy. Being wireless, it won’t hold your desk hostage with cords, while its battery will last for months before needing a charge. It’s comfy, tactile, and compatible between multiple devices.
The Microsoft Ergonomic Sculpt might look funny, but the bizarre-looking angling of the keys serves a purpose: it mimics the natural hand positioning most people default to when typing. That means speed, comfort, and a reduced risk of RSI or similar conditions brought on by extensive keyboard use. Consider buying a gel wrist-rest for your keyboard, as it provides support to your forearms and can prevent aches setting in.
When it comes to mice, I’d recommend the Logitech MX Master 3 - built for long stints of use, angled to protect wrist movement and equipped with all sorts of buttons and dials, it’s fully customisable for a variety of programs (Excel, Photoshop, etc) and highly user-friendly.
Keep your workspace clean and tidy
The old adage says a tidy house is the sign of a tidy mind, and a workspace is no different.
Reducing clutter on your desk is a great way of minimising distractions while you’re trying to work, and has a real impact on workflow. Try to keep your workplace as neat as possible, which means using cable managers to minimise pesky cords trailing across your desk, and occasionally clearing out that assortment of books, stationery and empty cups of tea from out behind your monitor.
Being tidy isn’t everything: keeping your equipment clean can make a world of difference when it comes to improving the way you work. Keyboards and mice subject to heavy use will grow grubby quickly, so a semi-regular wipe-down with a disinfectant cloth helps keep them fresh. If you’re looking to get the hair and fluff out from under your key caps, compressed air can be a great tool to keep handy. When it comes to cleaning more delicate components like computer glass, webcams and monitors, use a microfiber towel or cloth to protect your equipment.
With working-from-home quickly becoming the new norm, finding ways to stay productive and keep up the work flow is essential! A pull through of your office can help to brush the cobwebs off, and make it easier to work during those long hours at home.
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